I asked several of my missionary friends the following question. I thought it might encourage you and help you if you are wondering about yourself and what God wants you to do.
This question is
How did God confirm to you that you should be a missionary?
For me it started with a desire to serve the Lord in what ever capacity. I had just decided not to go back to college to finish my Engineering degree and was serving in several ministries in my church. One day someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I answered, “I think if I were to serve the Lord it would be in missions”.
Strangely enough I think that came from playing soccer with the hispanics in our town and not being able to speak to them. As I started to serve the Lord I wanted to reach those people that I couldn’t even speak to. When I went to college I began to learn more and more about missions and the need around the world and especially in Latin America and after taking a missions trip to Peru and Bolivia the Lord confirmed to me that that was where He wanted me to work.
As a child I grew up in a church that loved missions and missionaries. Missionaries were always honored at our church and in our home. Sometimes missionaries stayed in our home and they were always a blessing to our family.
At our church, the missionaries were seen as heroes that left home to conquer the enemy and to lift up the name of Jesus. Our pastor said if the church was struggling financially or in other ways, we need to support more missionaries or do more to help missions and God will bless and take care of us. The highlight of the year was always the missions conference. We always got to spend time with the missionaries during this time and ask them personal questions. I remember asking a missionary to China about the number of people that were in his country and about how many churches there were there. I was astounded by the great need. From that point on, I prayed God would let me go to the mission field. He sent other missionaries my way that confronted me with the need to go.
I thank the Lord for a family, a pastor and a church that loved missionaries and missions. I also thank the Lord for those missionaries that confronted me with the need to do more for Jesus. Now I thank the Lord we are here doing the work of King Jesus to a people desperately in need of the Savior.
I grew up in a Christian home, the son of a church planting missionary, so missions was always something I always had understood as vitally important, a duty, a God given responsibility. Ironically I understood the world’s sin problem (intellectually at least) before God made me to understand my own. I did what just about every kid in such a home does, and prayed a prayer at a young age to ‘accept Jesus into my heart’, but without any real work of the Spirit showing me the depth of my sinfulness and the depth of Christ’s grace.
The result was that I spent my childhood and teen years trying to be involved in missions without the power of God. I knocked on doors with my dad, I led people through the Romans road, I taught children in Sunday school, and many other things, because I knew it was what we were supposed to do. And I was miserable. I even committed myself to becoming a missionary myself when I grew up, thinking that throwing myself totally into the work of God would fix what was missing inside of me, but the closer I came to the time to leave home and go to one of the Christian Colleges I had visited, the unavoidable reality hit me harder and harder: I couldn’t do this! I opted instead for joining the military, and lived for the moment, for pleasing every desire I had.
God used this awful time to show me that I had no relationship with Him, that the sin that dominated my life did so because that was who I really was… I wasn’t a ‘good little missionary kid’, I was a rebel against God. I trusted in Christ completely that day, and everything changed. Suddenly this idea of reaching the world with the gospel wasn’t a duty or a way to earn God’s favor, it was something I WANTED to do because of what He had done for me, and because I wanted others to know the same grace I had received.
That was the day God gave me the desire to be involved in missions, and, though I didn’t know how or where I’d fit in, through serving in the local church and discovering the spiritual gifts He had given me, the burden and plan to plant new churches was born in my heart, and now I get to see Him do exactly that through my life!
Daniel Sparks – Chile – chileforchrist.com
I was saved when I was seven and surrendered to preach at 15. The summer after I graduated High School I went to Mexico on a missions trip with my youth group, I was 18. The veteran missionary there had planted a few churches. We visited one of them. I saw how these people had hardly anything; however, they were so happy they got to come to Church. The place was packed with people who seemed to never want to leave. They were the only Baptist Church in the whole city.
We also rode school buses for many hours out to remote villages of 100-200 people. During the day we passed out flyers and invited everyone in the village to the outdoor evening service that the missionaries put on. Most of these people had never heard of Jesus and had never seen a Bible before. After the singing and preaching service, they had an invitation. 90-95% of the people made a profession of faith in Christ because they had never heard any other way to go to Heaven in their life. They were each given a Bible. The next morning we packed up everything and told everyone goodbye. These new converts now had a home in Heaven and a Bible; however, they had no church or even preacher to train them in the Word.
I then started thinking about the 20 or so Baptist Churches in the small town where I lived. I didn’t think it was fare that I had so many churches to choose from in my town when they had none. I then desired to one day go to a Latin American country to be a Church planting missionary.