“If Christ Be God ...”
The boarding gate was filled with friends and family who had come to see us off. In a few minutes, we would be boarding a flight to the Philippines where we would be trained in the new international curriculum before flying on to Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea.
The months prior to this moment were kept busy with cross cultural training, support raising and more support raising. The level of our support (we barely had the minimum) prohibited returning to visit our families anytime within our first term of three years, and we made that clear to them ... even, we were told to communicate with them, should a family member pass away.
Being a missionary to a foreign country sometimes requires sacrifice, but not as great as missionaries in the past, who often said farewell to their families forever. Their kind of sacrifice brings to mind C.T. Studd who, having already served many years as a missionary with Hudson Taylor in China, set his sights on Sudan in the latter years of his life. When asked why he chose to go on a new mission instead of retiring, he replied,
“If Christ be God and died for me, there is nothing too great that I would do for Him.”
Any ‘sacrifice’ we make for God pales in comparison to the one He made for us!
Through many hugs and much tears we made our way to the boarding gate and walked down the long ramp with John-Mark, our two year old son. The slow taxi unto the tarmac and the final dash down the runway allowed us one last glimpse of the lights of Honolulu. There was a mixture of sadness and joy as we looked back to our home and family and ahead to what God had already prepared for us.
For me, there was also relief, knowing that we were finally on our way. While many Christians are afraid to make themselves available to serve God fearing that He might call them to be a missionary, I was afraid that God would never send me overseas as a missionary. When there are things we are not willing to do for Christ, it is usually because we have not fully comprehended what He has done for us. When we have gained that comprehension, there will be ‘nothing too great’ that we would be willing to do for Him!