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The Long Road of Obedience

Posted by Allen Duty on

Six airports. Five flights. Four days. And that was just to get to my final destination so I could begin serving our missionaries in Asia Pacific last month.

But the small sacrifices I made to travel that far pale in comparison to the sacrifices our missionaries made to get there.

After helping to plant our church, Jim and Rachel raised funds and left for two years of training in Michigan, followed by two more years of training in Missouri. A year and a half ago, they moved to Asia Pacific to start and complete their study of the trade language, which they will use to learn the languages of the indigenous peoples with whom they hope to share the Good News of Jesus.

"We view the years of training we received as absolutely indispensable. Our desire is to be wise master builders. The temptation can be to just get started building a structure, but to do it well takes a lot of preparation. The task before us (seeing a mature church established in a cross-cultural context) is a marathon, not a sprint. Anyone going into a marathon, not to mention someone who wants to 'run the race as if to win,' would not think of doing it without training well and training hard, long before the day of the race." 

Within the next year, they will move again – this time to the interior of their country. And then the real work begins. Everything in the past, as they say, is prologue.

The week I spent with this remarkable, committed family is one I’ll never forget. We talked and prayed together, we laughed and cried together, and I did my best to meet as many needs as I could in the short time we were together. 

"The practical help Allen gave was exactly what we needed during that time. I have no doubt God orchestrated the timing of his visit so he could be there right at that time. And of course, we were so glad for him to be able to see a little bit of the setting we are in, and to give us pastoral guidance and encouragement, " says Rachel about the experience. 

I didn’t feel like I did anything spectacular – but then again, the Christian life isn’t often spectacular. It’s one small step of faith after another, day after day, year after year. That’s true in College Station, and that’s true in Asia Pacific.

Not all of us are called by God to go to the nations like Jim and Rachel. But if we aren’t called to go to the nations, we are called to support those who are called to go to the nations, both through prayer and financially. Otherwise, we are disobedient to Jesus’ commands in the Great Commission. Start now by praying through Jim and Rachel's requests below, as well as considering how God is calling you to participate in reaching the nations for Christ.

"We have seen God work mightily through your prayers on our behalf. Pray that we would have an eternal, sacrificial mind-set, day in and day out. Pray that we would humbly walk with God and be sensitive to His Spirit in the seemingly small details of our lives and ministry. We are in the process of team formation, so please pray that God would bring the right people to our team, and that we would be good team-mates. Jim is starting the process of surveying different areas of the island in an effort to decide where we will live and minister long-term. Please pray that God would lead us and the others on our team to the place He would have us serve, and that He would be preparing the hearts of the people there to receive us and to receive His life-saving message."