Serving those who are responding to God’s call to love.

Distraction

Loves Calling was founded to ensure that those who were willing to go into the mission field – even for a short time – would be sent by the community that nurtured them. In many cases congregations had made solemn promises of support during a child’s baptism only to accept any outcome after years of training in the church. Too many who show interest in serving God in authentic, sacrificial ways are being carried away by distractions common to their age group.

Schyler Lavin recently posted on our website how she had a chance to warn young Filipino children about falling prey to human-trafficking schemes. She tells it better but basically, they played several elimination rounds of rock-paper-scissors until a winner was declared. The young boy was given a grand prize of an all-expense paid semester at a US university. The grantor had connections to both the US embassy and the university, and could set the young ecstatic winner up nicely with no hassles. When the winner asked if he could bring his parents the sad reply was no. But then by a show of hands the whole group was asked who would trade places with him. Almost every hand shot up. This is when it was revealed that they had just been “trafficked.”
What struck me is that the children were very receptive to the warning part of the message, and yet showed a common vulnerability to the deception. They were good kids, being cared for in a responsible environment, that could be quickly suckered with a crafty lie. Honestly, I think this accurately describes nearly all of humanity.

Many young adults age 18-28 will feel called in some way to the mission field. Some will follow predictable routes, but others will be quickly discouraged by the cost or inconvenience and will need encouragement and support to succeed. We keep our eyes peeled for the latter.

It is not uncommon to find these young adults being “trafficked” by many common distractions: pleasure, quick wealth, social or intimate acceptance, all for their participation in dangerous activities. Experimentation coupled with self-sufficiency during young adulthood shakes traditional foundations of support and frustrations can run high. But don’t forget we are talking about good, often church-raised, young adults, professing a desire to serve God. Who…are also being pulled dangerously close to ruin by a crafty lie that those around them are all too willing to believe or tolerate.

Don’t be too quick to judge. We are all toying with things that are not good for us. But at any moment we can also do something incredible by choosing to follow God’s voice.

Working in this support space requires changing old perceptions and recognizing new patterns. We pray constantly for new breakthroughs. The beautiful part is that God always delivers big to those he has called and who have answered that call. One of our main goals then is to add to the group of senders and the sent by surfacing new ideas about what mission trips are and who is ready to go on one.

Christians have a lot of exposure to mission trips where a group of people go to a foreign place to work on a project. We have surprisingly little exposure to mission trips that invite individuals with a quasi-military deployment strategy, involving 3 months of spiritual boot-camp, followed by three months of engagement with the lost. It is the latter experience that draws most of our attention.

We are also providing blog space to record the experiences of these missionaries that are sent. It’s important for sponsors and future missionaries to be able to experience training and outreach through the eyes of the sent and for missionaries to interact with each other. I can almost hear Schyler saying, “Oh yeah, this is happening!”

Finally, a short-term missionary assignment will come to an end. And with that ending comes some big questions. The transition back to home or college life can be rough. Even trying to find a place in a typical church body can be disillusioning while the experience of being fully activated in preaching, discipling and serving abroad is still fresh. We are learning that preparation for the aftermath must start before departure.

The whole world is a mission field. God calls us to serve in every part of it. We serve as doctors, parents, and truck drivers as well as preachers and missionaries. The question, “What will you do with what you have learned” must be asked before being sent. The answer might not be known yet, but knowing the question can help the community of the sent and senders build a hedge against the coming distractions.

-Ron Unruh

 

 

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ORGANIZATION

Loves Calling International, Inc.
11953 Ellison Wilson Road
North Palm Beach, FL 33408
Phone: (970) 270-0314
EIN: 47-4298542