Have you ever been on a mission trip before? I’ll never forget my first international mission trip 20 years ago! It was an amazing experience. I went with Josh McDowell Ministries to Russia as a part of what was called Operation Carelift. Yes, I was young. It was breathtaking to visit a new culture, with strange customs, beet-based food, halfway across the world.
I remember all the prep-work that went into the trip- learning Russian words and culture, preparing my testimony and learning how to share the Gospel, learning how to avoid ex-KGB agents… but seriously, it was made very clear to us that we had to have papers on us at all times, and not step one foot out of line, otherwise the mission trip could’ve been extended indefinitely.
While the prep work was complex, our goal was simple: to take supplies to impoverished populations in Moscow and share the Gospel in the process. We delivered medical and food supplies to widows, orphans, and the disabled, and used the opportunity to share our testimonies about Jesus Christ to them. There were hundreds with me on the trip, from all around the states, united together in this mission. Someone may ask: Was it worth all the expense, the risk, to step out of our comfort zones to travel to the other side of the world and tell people about Jesus? Of course it was. It was amazing.
Have you taken a trip like that before? Many in this audience have. Some of you are former missionaries, having far more experience than I do. But even stepping out the door with an intention to tell people about Jesus can be intimidating. Sometimes even more-so than with strangers in a strange land. My goal this weekend is to encourage us, to challenge us, to remind us, that this is what we were created to do. That the harvest is plentiful, the workers are few, and we can put our shoulders to the load even here in Ocala to make a huge difference in a short amount of time. Do you believe that?
We’re going to take inspiration from Paul and Barnabas and their first missionary journey- when they set off into the unknown, following the lead of the Holy Spirit with the aim of sharing the Gospel wherever He took them.
I invite you to join with us this weekend as together we walk through this incredible story in Acts chapter 13. Our socially distanced service is Saturday afternoon at 3:30, and our Sunday morning service is at 10:15, where you can join us online if you can’t make it in person. We also have excellent Sunday School classes at 9 for all ages.
Have a great weekend and I look forward to pursuing Christ, Community, and the Great Commission Together with you soon!