Challenges in Missions
What are the challenges in missions? Raising support, learning a new language and navigating an unfamiliar culture are all challenges we must face. But God faithfully provides in his timing and his way.
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By Rodney Pennington
My journey into the world of missions was actually quite simple to be honest with you. You see I became a Christian when I was 18 years old and the immediate impact that had on my life changed everything. I began to think about the world, not as a place of isolation from those different than myself, but as an opportunity to share with all peoples the wonderful hope that had just entered into my life.
Sharing the Gift of Life
I really wanted little to do with Christianity prior to this transformation. However, soon after, I naturally felt the need to go anywhere and tell anyone that would listen about this wonderful life-changing experience. I knew it wasn’t just a gift I had stumbled upon for my own keepsake. The truth of Christ Jesus is a wonderful gift of life for all who believe. As the Apostle Paul says, “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Facing Challenges in Missions
Has the journey been easy? No. Actually, it has been anything but. There are many challenges in missions. The challenges of raising support, moving away from everything you have ever known, learning new customs and a new language, making mistake after mistake, etc., can cause a lot of doubt to creep into one’s life.
But, there is something beautiful about being able to look back at all the difficulties and seeing how God, in his timing and in his way, provided day after day, minute after minute and second after second. As hard as it was and continues to be, I wouldn’t change a thing.
Responding to the Call of Missions
Our commission is to “go, and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). The basic meaning of the Greek word “go” (poreuō) is to “continue the journey.”
That journey didn’t end when the lives of the disciples came to an end here on earth. It actually continues today as the church is called to take part in continuing this journey of making disciples of all nations.
Looking to the Future of the Great Commission
Over 20 years ago this journey began for me and I hope that over the next 20 years I get the blessing of continuing to be a part of God’s work in reaching the nations.
If God is working in your life to explore your role in the great commission, then I would like to invite you to look into possible next steps through prayer, learning, sending, mobilizing, welcoming or going. Find out more here.
This journey is not easy, but this gift of life is too great a gift to not be worth the challenges ahead.
Rodney has been in ministry for over 20 years and his service with OMF started in 2006 serving in both Thailand and in the U.S. Currently, Rodney is serving as the Vice President for Mobilization with the OMF (U.S.) homeside team. He enjoys spending time with his family and friends, reading, fishing, teaching and preaching, and mobilizing the next generation of missionaries for reaching the unreached peoples of East Asia.