I’m so sorry if you weren’t able to be here this Sunday, because we had a lot of stuff going on that was pretty exciting.
First off, we were able to host Wycliffe missionaries John and Katie Carter in our Sunday School hour. They shared about their ministry with Bible translation in Papua New Guinea. For a relatively small island, PNG has a relatively huge number of languages--over 840, in fact. And most of those languages do not have a Bible translated into them, so the work is not only important, but sizable. But the Carters specialize not in translations, but in language surveying--scouting out what languages are out there, how unique they are, and what priority should be placed on each one in terms of which should have their own translations first. It’s a fascinating ministry, and a joy to interact with them. They not only got to share a bit more in the service, but also stick around to join us for our Connections lunch afterwards.
Speaking of sharing in the service, Anna Wietharn shared about her upcoming missions trip to Bogotá, Colombia, with her class from Peoria Christian School. Please keep her in prayer over the next week or so as she travels, interacts with local Christians, and helps out with outreach across borders and across continents.
You know, you and I could also be praying for the opportunity to be missionaries right where we are, too. You don’t have to cross bodies of water or complicated language barriers to reach out to someone who’s never heard the Gospel before. In fact, you may work with someone or live next door to someone who’s effectively unreached--or, at the very least, unchurched. But you’ll never know until you break the ice and begin interacting with people about the Lord.
We talked a little about that in our final message from our series on Christ’s miracles. We looked at one very busy day in the life of Jesus, when He reached out into the lives of people whom others might just as soon have ignored or even despised--people like a leper and a Roman centurion (well, and Peter’s mother-in-law, but let’s not go there). With the leper, Jesus made it a point to literally reach out and grasp the man, since no one had been willing to touch him for years. With the centurion, Jesus made it a point to heal his servant without coming anywhere near the man. In both instances, Jesus knew exactly what to do in order to justify the men’s faith in Him--and that’s what the miracles were really about.
See, we can be tempted to try to decide who’s “worth” reaching out to. We can wrap that decision in words that make it sound like righteousness, or “good stewardship of our time,” or some other rationalization, but the truth is, everyone is worth it. People in Papua New Guinea whom you’ve never met are worth it. People across the street whom you’ve never really liked are worth it. Messy people whose lives will complicate your own are worth it.
Somewhere along the line, Jesus made it clear that you were worth it to Him. How about you and I go and do likewise, and tell those around us about the Good News of the Saviour who thinks that they’re worth it, too?