A Life-Changing Journey
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” I recently read this quote from Lao-tzu, a Chinese philosopher who lived around 500 B.C. It made me think of my life journey from a business point of view, family standpoint, and also from a spiritual perspective.
I became a Christian when I was 16 years old, became unconditionally involved in my local church, and was introduced to One Mission Society in the early 1960s. However, I had to wait until 1978 to get connected with Men for Missions. For the first time, I heard of my need to DO whatever God asks me to do; to GO wherever God asks me to go, and to GIVE whatever God asks me to give. Since I affirmed that simple promise, it has taken me on journeys that have been exhilarating and challenging.
A life-changing journey for me was to travel to South Asia, a country I had heard of but knew very little about. Our national coworker, a bishop and pastor there, is a man passionate to see people saved and lives changed by God. In 2013, he is seeking to establish 514 new churches. I spoke in the capital city to 120 participants from the book of Nehemiah on leadership, management, and ethical leadership.
I also spoke in another city where I really saw the meaning of a life-changing journey. After speaking to pastors and senior leaders in the morning, I assisted in a baptismal service where more than 100 men and women were baptized in a river. This was not only challenging but mind and heart changing for me. I have been involved in baptismal services in my home church many times, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened. First, we traveled about five miles outside the town. Men went ahead to ensure there would be no interruptions to the service and to check on security. Men and women had walked to the baptismal site and were waiting with anticipation. This was an awesome experience; no sounds―only the birds, no laughter―only serenity, no fear―only commitment and expectation. I then understood what a life-changing journey was all about.
I measure my journeys in miles. Their journey was only a few feet. As I stood in that fast-flowing river, watching the congregation walk into the water, I realized what it meant to them. They walked calmly on a journey of 40-feet that would change them forever. Some possibly walked into harm's way, others into possible disagreement with their families and cultures, and yet, they enthusiastically came forward. I cried my way through most of the service and was overwhelmed by the presence of God. At that moment I knew why I had promised to do, go, and give what God had asked of me so many years before.
Some people live for the opportunity of a lifetime. My involvement with OMS/MFM has given me a lifetime of opportunities, and as my journey continues, my hope is that there will be many more opportunities to see lives changed.
I returned to the capital a changed man, with a new understanding of commitment. Are you willing to be changed by your life-changing journey? It may only take you a short distance or thousands of miles to wherever God wants you in His service. We will need to be ready to answer the call to do, go, and give what God wants of us.
--Bill Anderson, OMS UK missionary
View all of the opportunities how God may use you to be a missionary. Is God calling you to be a worker, either on the front lines or in a support role?