For nearly 20 years, I have been organising & leading many medical mission trips from my church, Wesley Methodist Church, to various countries in South East Asia. One such memorable trip was in 2010 leading a team of 20 trippers to the Isaan Province of Thailand which was mainly an agricultural region, considered the poorest region. As such our medical ministry in different villages was well received by the local population.
Fire can be destructive. 2 Peter 3:7 declares, “The heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.” Later in the same chapter (vs. 12) it says, “the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!” The Bible says, “Our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:29), and when the day of his wrath fully comes, he will destroy with fire.
When we think of missions, we usually associate that with Christians leaving their homes, going to a foreign land to share the Gospel and to plant churches. Many of the missionaries I know have gone overseas with their families to do that. When a family relocates, the children have to be uprooted from the Singapore education system and the kind of comfortable life which Singaporeans are used to.
Some time ago, I was on a retreat at a centre and looking out of the window of my room. Right in front of me, I saw the leaves of the palm trees, but in the distance, I could see a large garden, with different plants and shrubs. I noticed the different textures of leaves and various shades of green and I journaled, “God is here and near; but he is also deep, and over there and far off.”
It was from Antioch, Syria that Paul was sent forth by the congregation there, for his 3 great Missionary journeys, described in Acts, which covered 2 continents. It was in this Antioch that disciples of Jesus, both Jews and Greeks were first called ‘Christians’ i.e. ‘those who belong to or follow Christ’. In fact, there were 3 great evangelistic breakthroughs that had taken place there, not long before the name ‘Christian’ was first used on the followers of Jesus.
The Hebrew word for worship and work is from the same root word – Avodah and appears in the Bible at least 1,214 times, as a noun or verb or in substantive forms. This is to show that there is no distinction between work and worship before the eyes of God, and can thus be summed up as ‘my work is my worship’.