KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — In the spring of 2015, I was scheduled to lead a group on a mission trip to southern France, a region believed to be mostly populated by atheists. I was looking forward to sharing the love of God through the Gospel with those who probably know few, if any, Christians personally. But my plans fell through because I was unable to raise enough money for the nine-week trip and I found myself here in the Pacific without an immediate plan of action for my ministry career.
It didn’t take long for me to come up with an alternative for how to spend those two months. I decided to work at spreading the good news about Jesus in this coastal town on Hawaii’s “Big Island.” By year’s end, I was able to engage in meaningful conversations about the Lord with more than 200 local islanders and tourists. I was even blessed to see a handful of people confess Jesus as lord.
I’m glad I decided to invest in the mission field in this place that I’ve called home for nearly five years rather than fret over not going to the mission field in Europe. I believe all Christians should seek to be missionaries wherever they find themselves. I think it’s what God would have us do.
Unless you have an unshakable inkling that you’re not where you’re supposed to be (which might be from the Lord) let me suggest that you’re exactly where Jesus wants you. And if that’s true, you’re probably where you’re most cable of having an eternal influence on people’s lives. We should be a missionaries wherever we happened to find ourselves. In this simple way, we can imitate the Jesus’ earliest followers.
Philip was famously teleported by Jesus to another region after baptising an Ethiopian. When this happened, Philip didn’t seem to spend much time trying to figure out where he was, but he “found himself at Azotus, and as he passed through he preached the gospel to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.”1 The Apostle Paul hadn’t originally planned on making Galatia (part of modern-day Turkey) one of his mission fields. He admitted in a letter to the church there that “it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first.”2 In the early Church, there were those who hadn’t planned on leaving Jerusalem, but when persecution drove them out of the city, those who went “to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus.”3 Antioch, a Greco-Roman city, is significant in that “in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.”4 A place that wasn’t even on the minds of Jesus’ first followers became a landmark of worship.
Sometimes when it comes to evangelism, Christians are guilty of being too strategic. We want to reach out to a carefully selected people/social group, craft a Gospel presentation flawlessly tailored for that demographic and wait for the perfect set of circumstances in which to share the truth about who Jesus is with our audience. We can save ourselves a lot of time brainstorming by trusting that the Lord has us where we are for His strategic purposes. We that peace of mind, should feel free to have simple conversations about Jesus with people wherever we “find ourselves.”
1. Acts 8:40
2. Galatians 4:13
3. Acts 11:19-20
4. Acts 11:26
By: Raymond Billy
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