Missions vs Work Is Not an Either-or Thing

The cool breeze of French air wafted over the Charles De Gaulle tarmac as we waited to board our flight to Lithuania when it hit me: the Lord uses His diverse body to advance the Gospel in beautiful and diverse ways. It doesn’t matter if you’re in college, a parent taking kids overseas, or you are in your mid-twenties on a short-term mission trip—regardless of the season of life, the Lord can use you. 

But I didn’t always think this way. For some reason, I never thought the Lord would send me on missions overseas. Coming out of college, I was fully focused on my work and reaching my immediate circle of friends and family with the Gospel, and I rarely aspired to anything else. This “right-where-you-are” ministry is essential to the movement of the gospel, and it is the primary way God has used my life.

However, the Lord challenged me to reconsider this. Through my work, I was blessed with the chance to work regularly with missionaries across the world. This gave me direct access to their stories, and I learned how the Lord used businessmen and women, teachers, and everyday, ordinary people like you and me to make disciples across the world. It inspired me to consider, “Lord, is there a way that I can participate in this work, too?” 


At 26, I went on my first short-term mission trip. My wife and I were asked to come alongside an English immersion program in Klaipeda, Lithuania, with The Navigators. My wife, as an elementary teacher, was invited to teach intermediate English to teenagers and young adults for 4 weeks, and I was invited to manage resident assistants during the program, a background of mine. We never imagined we could make this kind of contribution, but the Lord used our experience to help the long-term missionary and her colleagues invest in students from eight different nations. We were part of a team touching the world.

When I look back on this time, I can’t help but be joyful. Yes, it took time and finances, but what I gained was much more precious. I learned new languages and cultures that continue to affect how I share the Gospel with my immediate circles. And I was inspired to continue to take part in the great commission:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

This involvement is not an either-or thing. Whether you are a college student, a parent, or in your twenties, you have an opportunity to participate—right where you are and, perhaps, overseas. And if you do go, you will learn new ways to pray, give, welcome, and engage with people as the Lord uses a well-structured trip to expand your horizons. 


It’s not too early to start thinking about next summer now: https://navigatorsworldmissions.org/go/short-term-trips/.


Be refreshed.

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