1. In regards to missions, third world countries, or countries in dire need, I have noticed that many people say/make the excuse, "it's just too sad for me" or "it would just be too hard to see people like that." A lot of people do not want to see or hear anything about areas where there are people suffering. I have found that most of these people have huge hearts but decide to supress any emotions they may feel because they either don't want to feel responsible for it OR believe that they are not able to make a difference anyway. Injustice and poverty is chosen to be ignored. I don't understand that mindset. I do know that when we choose to ignore these issues, we miss out. We miss out on God's purpose for our life (Isaiah 58). We miss out on His heart (which is for the poor and helpless). We miss out on gaining joy and wisdom, and seeing hope. We miss out on what these beautiful people have to offer us and on the ways God desires to use us, transform us, and reveal more of Himself to us. It is a great loss and, I believe, a great act of disobedience, to forget or ignore the hopeless, helpless, and forgotten people.
2. Something that was said to me that literally brought tears to my eyes was, "one person cannot make a difference anyway." This was in regards to going somewhere that is filled with need, a country that almost seems helpless. When I heard this I couldn't say anything. It really upset me. To believe that one person cannot help is a lie from the enemy. He wants us to think that a life is not worth our time. I agree that there are SO many countries in dire need and it seems overwhelming. But, doesn't change begin with ONE person? One life that is obedient to the Lord's will, WILL have a major impact. Ripple effect (from there it keeps growing). And all of heaven rejoices when ONE person turns to Him.
3. One of the hardest and most common thing said to me is, "there is enough need right here, in our own backyards." Believe it or not... I KNOW. Believe me, I see need EVERYWHERE I go. It's like my eyes are a magnet to need. I spend 98% of my time here and hopefully I am helping needs be met. And not to outweigh the needs here, but if people could see the immeasurable amount of needs in the world, I think we would quit saying things like this. If you're not someone who enjoys leaving the country, then encourage and support the ones who actually do want to go and are willing to go, go. Then, help take on responsibility for the needs here. I guarantee that 95% of people who say this haven't done much here at all. So, quit telling me that there is enough dang need right in my backyard.
4. And the last mindset that can really get me fired up is, "well, you shouln't/can't go there because it's just not a safe place." Almost EVERYONE thinks this way. And when I answer saying that the unsafe areas do not scare me, I am blamed for being selfish for wanting to put people who love me through that. Heaven forbid I die and go to heaven! I know this is said because there are many people here who deeply love me and don't want me to get hurt. I really appreciate that and I love and care for them just as much. But, I'm here for one purpose and that is to carry out His will and bring glory to Him. The gospel demands us to follow Him wherever He leads. I laid down my life for Him years ago and because of that I no longer live, but He lives in me. It can be costly. I love how my pastor puts it, he says, "the most dangerous place to be may be in the center of God's will." In Acts 20, Paul says, "I consider my life worth NOTHING to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the Gospel of God's grace." May this be how all of us feel. I love my parents. I respect my parents. But, I love Jesus more. I cannot and will not ignore His call for me. If it is dangerous, and I am called there, I will go. I trust Him. He is the shepherd in whom I fully trust will guide and protect me. Yes, I know, "we've got to be smart." But yet again, the lives of people are just as significant as my life.