As the school holiday season approaches, we’re expecting many of our church members and families to be travelling overseas for well-deserved year-end holidays or mission trips. Pastor Yang often said that we measure a church’s strength, not by its seating capacity but by its sending capacity. From now until the end of the year, there’ll be a sending forth of 24 Courier teams comprising 234 Cornerstonians to the mission fields in 7 different countries. This is a season “when kings go off to war” (1 Sam 11:1).
Encounter God’s Heart
Our God is big and He cares about the nations. He’s a global God and His ultimate goal is to gather a family that represents “every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev 5:9). When you step into a foreign mission field, you’ll sense God’s amazing compassion for another culture and begin to know Him as “Lord of the Harvest”. The blessing is in the going (Matt 28:20).
We can only come to know the heart of God to the extent that we hear and obey His voice. Jeremiah had this quality when he was told to “arise and go down” to the potter’s house (Jer 18:1-2). I had this experience in a recent overseas trip to the USA. Instead of watching movies or sleeping on the long-haul flight, I was drawn to seek fellowship with Father God. Heaven felt closer while cruising at a 30,000 ft. altitude, and God was speaking and revealing His heart of compassion for the nations. He’ll speak to you likewise as you respond to His call to “arise and go”.
Now’s a good time to reflect and take stock of priorities, values, pursuits and goals. If properly assessed, we come into a position of knowing more the heartbeat of God. This will aid in our effectiveness in the carrying forth the Great Commission.
Discover our Spiritual Family
I’ve realised that one of the greatest blessings from any overseas trip is often the people whom we encounter. This can also happen on a family holiday or routine business trip. It’s important to have a proactive mind-set that allows the Holy Spirit to orchestrate divine connections. This can happen in a restaurant, hotel, office or even while on a plane, as has been my experience in recent years.
There are people from other nations who’ve become family members through spiritual connections that have taken place on the mission field. These are relationships that can last a lifetime. It helps me to appreciate the bond the Apostle Paul felt with the people he met in Greece, Italy and Asia Minor during his travels.
Paul was a man who had a vision for the world. Have you ever considered the background to the writing of the Book of Romans? Paul had already succeeded in preaching the Gospel from Jerusalem to Illyricum (Rom 15:19), and he now had his heart set on preaching in Spain. Yet, Paul paused to take time to write this monumental epistle to a church he did not found and which he had not yet visited. In spite of this, he was able to greet many of these saints by name. In these few verses, 29 people were mentioned specifically (Rom 16:1-16). He also was able to give some personal information about many of them.
It’s time to discover and connect with our extended family members overseas. Don’t feel guilty if you’re not able to go. Instead, remember that those who cannot go can contribute through prayer and financial support; the reward will be the same. When David defeated the Amalekites, he gave the same reward to the warriors who stayed behind to watch the baggage as he gave to the frontline soldiers who wielded swords (1 Sam 30:22-25).
In this late hour, it’s important to recognise the priority of missions. Every Christian must discover his role in God’s great plan to tell everyone about Jesus and His love.
Let’s remember in prayer those from who are going forth as part of our Cornerstone Courier teams. Do pray for the teams to go with spiritual preparation, flexibility, health, safety, wisdom, love and unity. Pray for the Spirit to open blinded eyes and that unbelievers would see Christ in all of His glory; and for the spiritual development, strength, and growth of the partner churches and missions that the teams will work with.
We’re expecting a bountiful harvest, testimonies and good reports from these teams. We’re also looking forward to a continued growth in God’s connected worldwide family. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” John 20:21