Asia in the 19th century: Overpopulated cities and polluted air. Venomous creatures and tropical diseases. Superstitious beliefs reinforced by thousands of years of lies repeated to its millions of impoverished, illiterate people. Caste systems, tribal systems and priestly systems that barred all hope of change.
“Only Christianity was willing to sacrifice its young men and women to the perils of tropical South Central Asia in a selfless love to uplift its people.”1 Who were the young people who went to this challenging mission field? William Carey, the Judsons, the Boardmans, Henry Martin, Alexander Duff and Amy Carmichael among others. These twenty-somethings, whom history now enshrines as intellectual giants, were just “normal” young people when they made the decision to give their lives for the people of Asia.
We may be tempted to think that, since we don’t fit the stereotypical picture of a missionary, God would never call us to the field. But the credentials needed for mission service are not found in years of experience, formal academic qualifications or profound talents. The essential prerequisites that all missionaries possess are a sense of God’s call, a servant’s desire to share the gospel with perishing people, and a focus that will not be distracted by the attractions of the world.
Asia in the 21st century: Overpopulated cities and polluted air. Tropical diseases, chaotic traffic and high-speed Internet connections. Superstitious beliefs reinforced by thousands of years of lies now repeated through media to its billions of people. Political systems, religious systems and social systems that have not improved life for most of the masses, and none of them offer eternal life.
Only a Christian would be willing to sacrifice his comfortable, young, American life to share the gospel of Jesus with the unreached of Asia.
“Normal” young Christian, won’t you go?
1 From Jerusalem to Iran Jaya: A Biographical History of Christian Missions, p. 113