Following the first missionary journey of Paul the Apostle and Barnabas, scripture states that they returned to Antioch from where they had been sent:
“When they arrived and gathered the church together, they began to report all the things God had done with them and how He had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles.”
(Acts 14:27, NASB)
And so, with Cirena well on her way to recovering from shoulder surgery this past March, we spent our summer traveling from coast to coast visiting family and friends, reporting in churches the work being done in the Philippines these past few years. What a blessing it’s been to reconnect with so many of you and for those we have yet to see, we’ll trust the Lord to open a door to make that possible.
During a recent visit with friends and supporters from Linn Creek Baptist Church in Missouri, we were both blessed and challenged with a write-up inside the church bulletin. With their permission we are sharing that with you:
Being on Mission
“‘A person sent by a church into an area to carry on evangelism or other activities, such as educational or hospital work.’ That is one definition of a missionary. Today we have the opportunity to hear from Robert and Cirena Smith and their work as missionaries.
But before we get too carried away with thinking that missions is somewhere else and done by somebody else we need to stop. You see, when Jesus gave his disciples what we call the Great Commission, he told them they needed to start in Jerusalem, then go to Judea, Samaria and to the remotest parts of the world. He also didn’t say ‘always send somebody else.’ He made missions a personal responsibility to each one of them.
The same holds true for us, we do have a duty to support the work of career missionaries like the Smiths and others who go and spend their life doing mission work. But we also have the responsibility for Jerusalem, which is the area right outside the walls of our church! Mission work involves all of us all the time.
I was at a church once and when you left their parking lot there was a sign that said: You are now entering the Mission Field. What a good thing to remember, the mission field begins right out the front door of the church.”
While we are certainly blessed by each one that helps send us to the Philippines, the challenge for us is to plug-in and find meaningful ministry to serve in while on home-assignment. This is our Jerusalem too and we are grateful for all the work He is doing here and for whom He is using. Let’s press on for His glory.