Future of the Mission Work

A personal reflection by Michael Smith:

As I reflected recently upon the mission work, I realized that in the last twelve months, twenty percent of my time was spent on the ground in Africa. Our heart and vision are to continue to spread the gospel and to reach new territories across the globe for Christ. For over two decades, our time and energies have been fully dedicated to the gospel work at home and abroad. During this time, my wife and I have shed tears of disappointment and rejoiced in victories along the way. Our faith is in God, but it is noteworthy that funding to support these endeavors the last two years is down over twenty-five percent from the average of the previous four years. We have been earnestly seeking God for guidance and provision that the mission efforts continue in strength.

There are many personal aspects of a life of faith that full-time servants of the Lord do not talk about. But, the reality is that aside from the personal aspects, it takes a lot of money for mission work. When a missionary is ministering to the poorest of the poor in our world, and he calls for people to travel in that country to a gospel meeting, there is responsibility to help feed the people when they come. This year alone, funds have been spent to feed thousands of people who came with a heart to hear the gospel. In some countries, impoverished ministers are traveling far distances to attend services. The missionary then has a duty to assist with transportation fees if he called the ministers to come. This expense has been great the last few years as well. Due to these issues, in the flesh, there is hesitation to expand the work to new areas as it takes a lot of capital to provide for food and transportation for these meetings. In addition, there are many other financial demands in the mission work and day to day expenses that have to be met. I share this burden to solicit your prayer for God’s will to be done. I want to see not only the missionary efforts I am personally involved with grow but also those of other missionaries who have similar burdens.

There are limited laborers in the field and there is a need for more to answer the divine call of God to work full time in the vineyard; but, my heart cries to see the missionary efforts of the Church of God hindered and limited with even the few who are laboring because of a lack of resources. I do not want to see the lights of the missionary efforts grow dim, but we are at a critical juncture and need the Lord to work.

I would err not to give God thanks for the mighty things He has done in other countries. It touches the core of my spirit to see the multitudes of people that have knowledge of truth due to the labor of the saints. I give a heartfelt thank you to those who have so greatly sacrificed over the years to enable the work to continue. That labor has not been in vain. There are thousands who have had opportunity to hear the gospel because someone unknown and unseen stayed home and sacrificed that an airline ticket for a missionary could be purchased, a mouth could be fed at a meeting, a native minister given support, a roof put on a leaking chapel, etc.

God bless you and please join me in earnest prayer that the work can move forward and not backward.

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