I am so thankful for the literally thousands of missionaries who serve the Lord in Kentucky each year through a variety of ministries. Whether one serves as a long term career missionary or a short term volunteer, you are considered a missionary, “if in response to God’s call and gifting, you leave your comfort zone and cross cultural, geographic or other barriers to proclaim the Gospel and live out a Christian witness in obedience to the Great Commission” (North American Mission Board of the SBC).
Missionaries have met many of the physical, emotional and spiritual needs in Kentucky. Through personal sacrifice and service you have fed hungry children, provided shelter for homeless families, offered accountability for a recovering addict, discipled prisoners in the jail, provided job training for the unemployed, built a wheelchair ramp for the physically handicapped, and cooked meals for the hungry following a disaster.
Why did you go on that mission trip? What prompted you to leave your job and move your family in order to serve? What motivates you as a missionary? Perhaps it is your compassion for the outcast, sympathy for the poor, or simply an overwhelming desire to help those in need. Our primary motivation for serving as a missionary should be the command of Jesus to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19). Our obedience to His call should trump any and every need that exist.
We must be aware of the needs around us and always looking for ways to meet them in the name of Jesus. There’s nothing wrong with feeling compassion for the lost and hurting. But His command to “go” should be our driving force, not the hungry faces, homeless families or children in need.