by Matt Wells, Media Assistant
You may not have realized it, but you have a break coming up.
Fall or thanksgiving break. Christmas break. Spring break. And then of course, summer.
Now, maybe you haven’t thought much about these lately. Perhaps the burden of work or school have driven out all blessed thoughts of taking any time off. But sooner than you think, you will find yourself with weeks or months of free time.
What are you going to do with it?
Here is a challenge: spend part of your college years on a cross-cultural trip. Whether a whole summer, a couple weeks, or even a year, take the time to invest in Gospel work outside your home country.
You could probably find many excuses for rejecting such a challenge. Let me list the three most daunting:
1. I don’t have enough money.
This is very practical – and very real. Overseas trips are not cheap. Laundry money cannot cover an international flight. The pressure of college bills and life in general tends to discourage any millennial from even attempting a missions trip. Even if they could raise the money from generous friends, many still need to stay home to work to raise money for next year’s school bill.
For some, this is a valid excuse. But for many, this is an opportunity to experience firsthand the faithfulness of God.
I have taken a missions trip every summer for the past three years. Every time, I worried about funds. And every time, I have had more than enough.
It did not come without effort and sacrifice. For one summer, I had to sell my iPad to raise funds. For another, I had to use some graduation money.
God won’t magically float down money from the clouds. But through hard work, I firmly believe He will provide the funds if it is His will to go. I do not say that because I know the right words to say from Sunday school. No, I have experienced this time and time again. I know this God. He is faithful. He will provide. And I have come to know Him deeper through having to step out on faith to raise funds for these trips. It will grow and stretch you – but it is worth it.
2. I’m not called to missions.
If everyone were called to go overseas, no one would be left to win souls in America. God may not have you to serve in another culture. But part of our call to serve Christ in 21st century America is a call to cross-cultural work. It is unavoidable.
The world has come to America. And if we are to be faithful witnesses for Christ, we need to have what is called “cultural intelligence.”
Maybe you’re a business major – perfect! You need cross-cultural experience on your resume. Businesses are looking for people who know how to relate to people across international borders or with coworkers of different nationalities. It is a skill not many in the workforce have, but one that a believer can easily achieve – and should achieve!
Besides, we are all called to speak the Gospel into lives around us. We are all called to make disciples. Whether or not “missions” is your thing, the Gospel better be your thing. And you can get great experience communicating it on a short-term trip.
3. I’m too busy with other things.
Family, friends, fiancé, work obligations, summer school, other ministries – a host of needs call for your attention each summer. And it is certainly not wrong to dedicate the summer to any of these things.
But consider diversifying your summers in college. Spend a summer at home working and witnessing to family or friends. Spend a summer at a camp or some other ministry. Spend a summer ministering with a church plant.
But be sure that one of your summers is dedicated – at least in part – to cross-cultural Gospel work. Don’t fall into the trap of being busy with so many good things that you miss the main thing.
The world is waiting. Millions who do not even know the name of Jesus.
Your summer is coming. What will you do with it?
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The CGO Blog
Written by the CGO staff, with guest posts from students and other faculty/staff at BJU to provide thought leadership for missions in a new millennium.