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Editorial: Motivated to Live on Mission

Deedee’s testimony is an inspiration to me. She’s one of the young women who has been raised at the Abundant Life Home (ALH) in Thailand. When she first arrived at the home fourteen years ago, Deedee was covered in sores and living with untreated AIDS. Her own mother had trafficked her in the sex trade as a little girl and now Deedee was fighting for her life. With lots of prayer, love, medicine and support, Deedee has grown into a beautiful young woman who is serving the Lord. She’s also incredibly smart. Even as a young girl, Deedee would tell her doctor that she was going to grow up to be a doctor herself who would help other children in need. 

Deedee has consistently scored at the top of her class academically. When she was nine, she led eleven of her friends to Christ in one day at the Buddhist temple school where she attended! It still brings tears to my eyes when I recall Deedee’s dance of worship as she offers her love to the Lord in the local Zion MB church where she attends with others from ALH. When she graduated from high school, Deedee received a scholarship through Multiply donors to attend a very well known university in Bangkok. This past semester, she had the opportunity to lead one of her professors to Christ! (To read the full story, click here). 

What motivates Deedee to live on mission? She’s a witness of God’s incredible love for her in Christ, and through the body of Christ. 

Karen Hubert-Sanchez and her husband Ricky began the Abundant Life Home for HIV-positive orphans fifteen years ago. Karen herself received a call to mission as a high school student when she attended a Keith Green Memorial concert following Keith’s tragic death. At the concert, she heard the call to “go” to the least reached. The message was simple: the call to mission is normative for every Christ follower, so if you do not have a clear call to “stay” then you are called to “go.” 

As Ricky and Karen were preparing to serve in Thailand with Multiply, they called and recruited Louise Sinclair Peters and her husband Dave who were pastoring in Williams Lake, BC. The invitation was simple: “We’re building a team to plant churches in Thailand, do you want to join us?”  

Team 2000 was formed in 1999 with three couples: Karen and Ricky, Louise and Dave, and Carmen and Andy Owen. They have all been based in Thailand for the past twenty years and their ministries continue to multiply. Thousands have been reached and mobilized throughout Southeast Asia. 

What motivates these couples to live on mission? They heard God’s call to “go” and they have been faithful.

So many others have been impacted by this mission story in Southeast Asia and they also have been inspired to participate. I think of someone like George Folz, one of our local retired business leaders who has been involved in supporting key business-in-mission strategies in the region. One of those initiatives has been Lighthouse Coffee, an export business from Myanmar that is creating opportunities for Gospel witness among the least reached and also providing support for many workers in that country. George has, in turn, mobilized many other business leaders to participate in this and other business and community development strategies around the world.  

What motivates people like George Folz? Is he not also living out the call of God to “go”?

If the call to global mission is really for all of us, then maybe we need to think differently about what it looks like to “go.” As a mission agency, we are looking for different ways to allow volunteers to get practically involved in global mission, whether that means a few weeks of service or a few months. Are you interested? We’ll give you training and organizational support to employ your volunteer skills in ways that advance mission. We’ll give you exposure to mission opportunities and then ways to invite others to join you. We want to help make the call to mission accessible to every Christ follower. We are also praying that meaningful engagement in mission, both local and global, becomes the clear focus of all of our MB churches. As we continue to answer this call, we will be changed by the experience! 

We bear witness to what we have experienced. This is true of my own story. I am full of gratitude to God for his love for me as I grew up in a family that pointed me to Jesus. Despite my prodigal years as a teen, Jesus kept pursuing me. While backpacking through Europe and the Middle East thirty-eight years ago, I saw the reality of Jesus in the lives of Jewish and Arab Christ followers in a little church in Jerusalem. I asked lots of questions about their faith stories and, after a month of counting the cost, I finally realized that I was empty without Christ and so I too surrendered my life and my will (not just my sin) to Jesus. At that point, no one had to tell me to share this newfound joy and inner freedom with other travelers—I was a witness to what I had experienced. Many of my friends found Christ, and a little band of disciples was formed. We learned together to pray, to fast, to memorize Scripture and to share the Good News with others. Living on mission with Jesus wasn’t a job—it was a way of life!

Jesus is still my leader today. Why do I love mission and the church? Because this is what Jesus loves. Why do I love the Holy Spirit and enjoy how he leads in mission? Because it was Jesus who gave this gift to me. We are witnesses to what we know to be true in our lives.  

When I consider all of the amazing men and women who serve together in Multiply and in our MB churches around the world, I am reminded again that we are simply giving witness to the power of the Gospel to transform our lives.   

When Jesus said to his disciples, “Come, follow me,” he didn’t tell them where they would be going, only who they would be going with. Jesus is still calling disciples to follow him in mission—both in their own communities and around the world. 

As we live on mission together as an MB family, are we clear about Christ’s call to us? Are we open to going deeper in understanding this call? Are we praying to the Lord of the harvest to send out more workers? In this edition of Witness we are sharing stories about the why of mission and the call of God on our lives, regardless of our station in life. I pray that you are encouraged to keep saying “yes” to God’s invitations.

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