Compassion, more than a feeling

25 Feb 2020

It was compassion that initially motivated me to become a cross-cultural worker.  A speaker at a mission conference said that 90% of workers ministering to children are working amongst only 10% of the worlds’ children.  This touched my heart. The unfairness. I am passionate about children’s work. It is an amazing opportunity to guide young lives onto the narrow path that leads to life and away from the broad path that leads to destruction.  I had strayed onto that wide path in my youth. Words of scripture brought me back to safety.

My husband and I took our family to a country in Southeast Asia because they do not have a Bible college.  Leaders have to leave the country, and their farms or jobs, to access training. This is not a feasible option for most.  So, while the church is growing quickly, it lacks a deep theological foundation. Most leaders have little training. Many have no training.  

My husband and I have a background in Bible teaching and mentoring.  We want to offer this to the local leaders so that they don’t have to leave their farms or jobs.  In particular, we want to walk alongside believers whose hearts are burdened for the unreached and unengaged people groups in this country.  The security situation in this country prevents foreign faces from getting close to unreached people groups. We want to work in the background and support from behind.

Before we left Australia, our family was preparing to ask others to partner with us through prayer and financial support.  I had a clear vision ready to share: This country needs Bible training, and we are able to help. 

However, before we began sharing this vision, I read an article by Tim Dearborn titled ‘Beyond Duty’.  He wrote how wrong it is to “focus our missionary communication on descriptions of the great void of unmet needs in the world”.  In a similar way, P.T. Forsyth wrote about the danger of implying that the mission task still to be done is “greater than what [Christ] has already done.  The world’s gravest need is less than Christ’s great victory”.

This emphasis helped me lift my vision.  I had focussed on the less significant news, the bad news that there is no Bible college in this country. However, I should focus on the significant news, the good news of Jesus.  

The shift is subtle yet profound.  I still feel compassion. However, I feel compassion because of the good news.  Jesus has beaten the darkness, yet many remain in darkness. They remain in darkness because the good news has not reached them.  Let’s take it to them. Do you want to join us? 

Jenny, a Pioneers worker serving in Asia.

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