Christians sometimes question why we should go on short-term mission trips to third-world countries after a church has been established there, and we are sending financial support to that particular body of believers.
Why not just send the money for the trip for them to use. It’s simple. We go in obedience to Christ’s command to go and “make disciples of all the nations.”
It’s not just about spreading the Gospel, but about teaching and discipling new believers according to the gifts God has given us. The term “all nations” includes our neighbors across the street, across the country, and across the seas. We see the model put into practice in the book of Acts.
We know that Paul went out to accomplish things of utmost importance. We acknowledge that these things of importance included the planting of churches, the preaching of the gospel, the educating and developing of pastors. What we sometimes overlook is that Paul also went to encourage the believers and to offer them hope.
Paul encouraged and monitored their walk with the Lord. He gave correction when appropriate and loving remainders as to what they had already learned from him. In return, Paul himself experienced encouragement from the people he went to visit as he watched them grow in their love for their Savior.
We receive that same encouragement when we work with Philip and the believers in Myanmar today.
Word Within International’s main purpose in traveling overseas is to teach pastors, teachers and Bible school students how to study the Bible inductively; we are also there to offer encouragement to the saints who are living in an environment without much hope at all.
We have heard them say how they cannot believe we would travel half way around the world to a people like them, that we would care enough to encourage and to build them up in Christ. Some might say that it is enough to send money and to communicate encouragement through email and telephone.
God uses the times when we go (even though costly in time and expenses) to encourage those we go to and in turn to receive encouragement from them. It is not likely an email or a phone conversation is going to be as effective.
Nothing substitutes for worshipping together, praying and studying His Word together. Both Paul and Jesus were always on the go to minister to others. They are the example we aim to follow at Word Within International