The Missionary Imperative
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MISSIONARIES. Will We Go? Even In Extreme Conditions For Christ?

The missionary imperative

Where has the Adventist emphasis on mission gone? Are we still spreading the gospel to the world or are we comfortable?

The tropical sun was baking hot as our guide took us around Kabiufa Adventist Secondary School. It was my first trip to Papua New Guinea and I was excited to be walking on the campus where my grandfather had lived and worked. I had grown up with stories of my mother’s time in Fiji with my grandparents. After she returned to Avondale, they had moved to Kabiufa. As we walked through the immaculate gardens, the people we met were warm and friendly—the sun was the only unwelcoming body, beating and burning. It was Sabbath and, after our tour, it was time to board a plane and return to Moresby for a flight home early the following morning.

In the hotel that night, I suffered the worst gastro of my life (I’ve since found out it’s known as Goroka gut). I’ll spare you the gory details but suffice to say the night is seared in my memory. Sunstroke and dehydration coupled with some dodgy water hit me hard.

It brought home both how hard and also how beautiful and enriching it can be to travel. It brought home some of the realities of the hardships faced by missionaries as they enter foreign fields—if you’re not well prepared (as I wasn’t that day), and even sometimes when you are, you can get very sick. It also illustrated the reality depicted in my grandparents’ stories and the missionary books I had read as a kid: there is beauty, passion, God-moments, hardship, illness, tragedy, triumph and struggle all wrapped up in the mission experience.

Although for me it was only a taste, I was reminded of the challenges and triumphs of the missionary experience.

Many of us who live in the South Pacific Division (SPD) have either worked as missionaries or have close family members who did. Missionary work was an integral part of this Division’s identity and culture. Yet, somewhere along the way, we lost that connection. I want to acknowledge the amazing work of modern day missionaries working throughout the Division. But it is rare for anyone to define themselves as a missionary anymore.

Make no mistake, the missionary imperative is still valid. Christ still compels us to “Go”.

But what it means to be a missionary has changed. The assumption that a missionary has to go to foreign shores to preach the gospel has changed. I think it’s time we redefined the word. There are practical opportunities that still exist for modern day missionaries, some of which are overseas and some of which are in our very own backyards.

In the past few days I’ve come across a few of these opportunities that I’d like to share with you.

During SPD worship I heard about the amazing work of the remote clinics in the Pacific where Adventist health professionals are working—transforming communities and planting seeds for Christ. We also heard about the Australian churches that have adopted them and organised fly‘n’builds.

"It is rare for anyone to define themselves as a missionary anymore."

These shorter trips can transform local churches but there are so many missionary opportunities at home as well.

When I heard about the medical missionary work making such an impact in the Pacific, I asked myself what needs could be met here in Australia. One area increasingly impacting the community is mental illness. As members we can learn more and take part in programs designed to support people struggling with this issue. Another problem is obesity. CHIP and other fantastic Church resources are available to use in our communities.

I look around and see my own demographic—middle-class, white Australian males—under represented in Australian churches. What can we do to reach upper and middle class Caucasian communities? Throughout the SPD there are entire communities of immigrants from countries where there is no knowledge of Christ. What are their needs? How can we connect with them?

And there are still overseas opportunities. The Adventist Church runs a “tent-making ministry”—for the intentional placement of Adventist professionals in employment in unreached areas. There is also an Adventist Professionals Network, for members who want to be involved in mission.

The opportunities are still there. The call is still there. The question is, will we go?

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503274 ioi

In Matthew 28:19  The Lord said,

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" I believe to "GO' is the Gospel Commission of our Lord to anyone, so if you are inspired to the Divine Call, situation wont matter.

Elma

501899 jones id

I get the impression from the Bible that everyone called by Christ in one way or the other is a Missionary.

There are those who are directly employed by our church mission and most of us are Seventh-day Adventist Missionaries where ever we are reflecting Christ to people around us.

Johnson.

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Hi every one, This blog subject in one way awaking the disciples of Christ to purpose and mission and service.

Jarrod's story above tells us of the reality of hardship and even though health conditions one must endure to bring the light of the truth to the lost.

NADI INDIAN CHURCH

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This is an extract from the Adventist Record published on the 23rd February, 2018. An experience into the highlands of Papua New Guinea. I was reading this article with the focus on how missionaries survived hard conditions because of their passion and love for God.

This article has open up a great challenge to this generation. Certainly the editor's grand parents were missionaries who came to the Eastern Highlands (Goroka) to serve God under extreme weather and rugged geographical conditions and this part of the highlands has more Adventist members today due to their sacrifices which the Lord will reward them.

Will this generation do more? What is our set back in this area? I am certain God will finish His work on a higher level? How do we allow God to Use us effectively to finish the work?

Your views and commend are welcomed.

 

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Makana Blog Post # 01 March 2018

MISSIONARIES. Will We Go? Even In Extreme Conditions For Christ?

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The missionary imperative Where has the Adventist emphasis on mission gone? Are we still spreading the gospel to the world or are we comfortable? By Jarrod Stackelroth February 23, 2018 Pictu...  More