Facing the Task at Hand

 

Kevin and Jessica are OMF Canada’s newest appointees. Although Jessica has serving in mission full-time with OMF for the past two years, both her and Kevin felt that God was calling them out and over distant waters. I interviewed them to find out what their experience has been in facing anew the task unfinished:

What does it mean for you to face the task at hand?

K: To us, it means turning our faces away from worldly desires, ambitions, and temptations that draw and drive us.

J:   And I think it means to turn away from those things to face the needs of our broken and dying world, but the focus of doing those things is for God’s glory. We want to see worship of the one true God driving everything we do.

What is the task?

K:  We’ve been so blessed to be exposed to some of the needs of the world. We’ve talked about it and even gone on short-term missions, but, as with many of our peers, we were held back by the barriers in our own hearts that made us unwilling to really consider what it would mean to leave our comfort zones and commit to long-term, cross-cultural missions.  After many moments of prayer, and receiving Godly counsel and advice, we felt called to take this step, to encourage others of our generation, to invite them to journey with us as we experience that it is possible, we can trust God, His provision, and His will to drive and guide us, to carry out the Great Commission.

What does it look like when you’re doing that in an office in Ontario, Jess? What does that look like for you in the day-to-day?

J:   It means talking to people who might initially have no idea how God could use them in a cross-cultural setting. In the beginning, there is a screening and application process but it’s more than just forms and applications. It’s prayer, missions coaching, by me and other team members, to discern how God might be calling them to this or something else. It’s such a joy to walk with these short-term workers through the challenges and faith-building process of being sent overseas for a short time. And the most important part is helping them integrate that into their lives as they consider the long-term impact of their short-term experience overseas.

Which part of the hymn Facing a Task Unfinished strikes you the most? And why?

K:  For me, Frank Houghton’s story—writing it almost 90 years ago, knowing that in his lifetime he probably wouldn’t see the full fruit of his labour. I think that’s hard for a lot of us, engaging in something that we know won’t be done before we die! Yet he pushed onwards, knowing that God’s will and purposes would be carried on after his death.

J:   I really like the two lines “From cowardice defend us/From lethargy awake”. It’s so easy to not be awake to the reality of this task that is unfinished, to not think back to those like Frank Houghton and others before him who have passed us this torch. What I really like about the Getty’s new chorus is that the song isn’t just about toil, labour, challenge, and perseverance. It’s about hope and salvation. That is what we have to bring to the nations, and we get to experience hope and joy as we fulfill the Great Commission.

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