Going on Mission

“I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world? Whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”

This was the letter Adoniram Judson shared with his father in law to be before proposing to his daughter Ann.  Judson was about to enter the mission field, traveling to India to share the Gospel and make disciples.  He and Ann wed before their departure.  Judson is remembered today as a pioneer in foreign missions.  He was part of forming the first association to send foreign missionaries from America.  The task in India was especially hard for the Judson’s. According to Janet Benge, “Adoniram had paid a higher price than he could ever have imagined, yet the rewards were great. He had left behind him in Burma a complete translation of the Bible in the Burmese language, a strong contingent of missionaries, and hundreds of converts.”

Missions is hard.  When I was younger and heard about missions, all I could think about was being shipped off to Africa or some remote place with very little amenities.  It was not appealing.  But the victories have outweighed the difficulties.   As I grew older, I was fortunate to participate in several short-term mission trips.  In Vermont, as a teenager, I helped lead a Vacation Bible School and repair a small church alongside my family.  In college, I traveled to Nicaragua and shared the gospel with people steeped in a blend of Catholic and pagan beliefs.  As a student pastor, I enjoyed working alongside high schoolers tearing off and putting on roofs for people to show the love of Christ.  Most recently I am thankful for the 19 students who received Christ as Lord and Savior through sports ministry in Barbados. 

But missions isn’t just what someone does across state lines or overseas.  Every believer is called to be on mission.  Our mission is to share the good news that Jesus has offered forgiveness of sins and a right relationship with God to anyone who would believe.  We are ambassadors for Christ, representatives who share the message of love and repentance.  You are on mission when you walk out your door, drive to the store, share a lunch break with coworkers, or share a meal with your family.  Missions takes place any time you intentionally share Jesus and his love with someone else. 

God may not call you to India to serve as a missionary.  You may not leave Oakway on a short-term mission trip.  But as you go each day, do you go on mission? 

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.  And behold I am with you always to the end of the age.  Matthew 28:19-20


Benge, Janet. Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma (Christian Heroes: Then & Now). YWAM Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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