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Missions

Our Spanish ministries have been concentrated on the Great Commission since the new year started and it has been a great joy to see so many of us excited about the Lord’s work inside and outside our local church – some five young adults have actually expressed their conviction during these days that God is calling them to the missions field. Also, Pastor Jacob and his team recently took a small group of students to Mission Connexion (an annual missions conference in the Portland area) which has also played a huge role in their identification with global missions. The Lord willing a missions trip is going to happen in the Summer and of course, we constantly receive reports from our missionaries and other ministries Evergreen supports in a regular basis. Praise God for our church and the way we all are encouraged to actively participate in the Lord’s most relevant task for us!

One of the main subjects in the book of Acts is the development of the early church into the exercising of missions as Jesus commanded them (and us) “in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (Acts 1:8). That is missions, but, what’s the reason for missions? I dare to say it is compassion. You’ll see, this is what Jesus teaches us:

“Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’” Matthew 9:35-38 (NKJV).

The word compassion derives from a Greek word, which means bowels describing a person who is moved in the deepest depth of his being. It is a drawing and agitation of one’s innermost part at the sight of any distress or misery. Compassion compels us to bring deliverance from such unlawful and inhumane misery and suffering. A Christ-follower laboring in ripe harvest fields needs the compassion of Christ, which causes him to move from an emotional response to an action response. Having pity is not enough because it runs dry quickly. Art Beals said in his book Beyond Hunger, “Pity weeps and walks away. Compassion comes to help and stay.”

Compassion is an action word. What moved Jesus into action as he went about the cities and villages of His day? For example, He was moved by:

  1. People’s pain. Matthew 14:14 and 20:34, Mark 9:17-27
  2. People’s sorrow. Luke 7:13
  3. People’s hunger. Matthew 15:32
  4. People’s divisive confusion about His identity. John 7:25-52

Why do I go through this? We continue to beseech the Lord of the harvest to thrust out laborers. We know they are few and desperately needed as the fields are waiting to be harvested. What kind of laborer are we praying for? We want called, Gospel-centered, passionate, compassionate, well-equipped, long-term laborers who are sent by us and other equally committed like-minded churches. Let’s pray together for those whom God is calling and will call from among us to be laborers into His harvest, and for all of us as supporters, that we all may identify with the fact, according to our Lord Jesus Christ, that missions is a matter of compassion!

In Him,

Pastor Joe

Categories: Evergreen Connection