I was first exposed to the great spiritual need of
In the January 1983 edition of Evangelical Missions Quarterly, J. Robertson McQuilkin published an article entitled “Looking at the Task Six Ways” (available with an on-line subscription here) in which he analyzed various ways that missionary strategists have evaluated the comparative priority of missions involvement in different parts of the world. Among the factors that he mentions are: the total number of lost people in a particular country; the responsiveness, or rate of growth of the evangelical church; the unreached compared with the proportion of evangelicals; North American missionary force as a proportion of the population; accessibility to missionaries or freedom to evangelize; and a focus on “hidden peoples” or “unreached people groups.”
McQuilkin’s point is that it is very hard to mathematically calculate with any sort of precision the question of missionary priority. However, he does suggest that, when you combine the various factors together in an attempt to reach a composite ranking of priority, there are often surprises. One of the countries he included in his sample composite evaluations of various countries and corresponding priority for sending of missionaries was the country of
McQuilkin even makes a few statements in his article alluding specifically to
“Young people, stirred to complete the task, should not have a hesitancy about going to
While I was on Operation Mobilization’s missionary ship M.V. Doulos from 1984-86, I had the opportunity to spend six months of that time in various cities of
Since that time, a “lot of water has gone under the bridge.” In 17 years of missionary service in
However, when we look back at what has been accomplished, in comparison to other areas of the world where there have been bona fide Church Planting Movements, and multitudes of people coming to Christ, baptized, and discipled, it is easy to get discouraged. We really, for the amount of time, energy, and prayers that we have poured into our ministry in
Since the time we came to Spain 17 years ago, a lot of advances and changes have taken place in the missionary movement around the world as well. The whole emphasis on Church Planting Movements, as opposed to one-by-one church planting, has emerged. Vast areas of the world that were previously “closed,” for all practical purposes, to missionary service, have opened up, and new creative strategies have been developed for placing workers in those countries. At the same time, missionary workers from other parts of the world, such as
In the time we have left on earth, we want to be the best stewards possible of the gifts, talents and experiences that God has given us, for the advance of His Kingdom, and the fulfillment of the Great Commission. It is not always all that easy to tell exactly where and how that may be.
Wherever it may be, however, it is for sure that
This summer, Lord willing, we will be going on Stateside Assignment. Our oldest son, who is set to graduate from high school in June, will be enrolling this Fall at college in the States. We are looking forward to some quality time visiting with family and prayer partners. We hope to also share with churches and other groups our missionary burden for the people of Spain and the peoples of the world, as opportunities open up to do so. At the same time, we will also be praying and seeking God’s guidance for the next stage in our life. Would you join us in praying that we would make the right decisions, as well as for God’s provision and protection in our lives in the days ahead?