Today I received my passport in the mail which has made the reality of my being able to go overseas and be on mission seem even more real. One of the many reasons I am excited to head to the Dominican Republic in the next few weeks is that over the past couple of years, as I have had the pleasure of working in the Center for Great Commission Studies, I have been convicted over my lack of compassion for the lostness around the world. God is quickly removing that callus from my heart. The opportunity to go to the DR and evangelize to a marginalized people group there may be the thing that God uses to completely remove my hardened heart. This could be the bridge for me to share with the vast amount of people who don’t know the Gospel around the world.
As an African-American it is very easy for me to lose sight of God’s global purpose as there are so many issues that I see that need attention here in the states. I myself was in foster care until I was around ten years old and that situation, of course, affected me greatly. Having been saved now for about 5 years and having accepted a call to ministry, my heart and my passion are for marginalized people here in the states as I have personally been a part of that group. Though I think that that is not only an okay and even a necessary desire to have, I don’t think that’s a good reason for me to ignore God’s purpose to spread the gospel to every tribe, nation and tongue.
A few days ago I heard a very interesting stat about the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB). Of the 4,900 missionaries currently serving on the field with the IMB only 27 of them are African-American. Though the demographics of the SBC have changed significantly over the past couple of decades, the amount of African-Americans going overseas to be on mission hasn’t changed all that much. Like previously stated this is understandable, but even as someone who has been directly affected by some of the most prevalent issues in the black community, I do not think this is okay. I would love to see other African-Americans, starting of course with myself, begin to change the attitude that we have towards overseas missions.
While my team and I leave for the Dominican Republic this weekend please pray for us!
- Pray that God would use me to encourage the missionaries already on the ground.
- Pray that I would have the opportunity to share the gospel with people and that God would soften their hearts to receive it.
- Pray that I would realize that it is God who works through me so that I do not get puffed up about what I am doing but am humbled by need for God’s help through this process.
- Pray that this trip will be sanctifying for me and my team and that God would change my heart, attitude, and posture towards overseas missions, because whether God has called me to be in an overseas context or here in the states, I need to preach not only about the needs of the Gospel in the states, but also in the rest of the world.