Who will Continue your Work?

Last week, I received a newsletter from one of our mission partners who has been faithfully serving the Lord in Asia for many years. His daughter posed a significant question, "Dad, who will continue your work when you go to heaven?" His response was profound, "Great question. I am eagerly awaiting those New Zealanders who are passionate for God and filled with the Holy Spirit to come and confront the devil here." 

This question has challenged me deeply. Is God still raising up people who are passionate for Him? Does He still send young New Zealanders to do His work around the world? I strongly believe that God is indeed raising up men and women, young and old, to serve Him both in New Zealand and around the world. Let me to share some of what I see God doing. 

Firstly, I believe God uses our mission partners to train the next generation of national leaders who can carry out ministry work in their own countries and beyond. Over the years, our mission partners have equipped hundreds, probably thousands, of workers for God's service. These individuals stand as a testament to the God we serve and the faithfulness of our partners to the task God has called them to. Having personally visited some of our partners, I've witnessed remarkable men and women who have come to faith in Christ and are now making a profound impact for God. 

Secondly, I believe God continues to raise up committed New Zealanders with a strong desire to serve Him. Here are some recent examples of young Kiwis from our churches serving God globally:   

  • A young woman is serving in a small country in Northwest Africa, one of the poorest nations in the world with significant spiritual challenges. She works in a school, hospital, and orphanage, providing opportunities to share the gospel and disciple locals.  

  • A young couple with three children recently departed for South Asia. While initially involved in language and culture study, their goal is to partner with local churches in discipling believers and evangelizing unreached areas.   

  • Another young man is training as a Bible translator, with a goal of long-term service, likely in Southeast Asia.  

  • Recently, a young woman who completed a short-term mission in Central Africa has committed to long-term service, focusing on education and empowering young girls in the community. 

These examples demonstrate that God is indeed raising up people with a strong call to serve Him. 

The daughter of our mission partner posed a second question, "But will they be smart enough?" I firmly believe they will be because they serve a God who is more than capable. He calls, equips, and enables them for His work. Over the years, God has raised up many remarkable New Zealanders to serve Him around the world. 

In a world filled with distractions and ambitions, our mission partners are driven by a strong call to serve God. This calling transcends human endeavours, leading individuals, couples, and families on challenging journeys empowered by an extraordinary God. 

The Great Commission: A Divine Mandate 

At the heart of our service lies the Great Commission, as articulated by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. Here, Jesus commands His disciples to "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (ESV). This mandate is not merely a suggestion; it is a divine directive infused with the authority of the Almighty. 

Divine Empowerment for Extraordinary Tasks 

The call to missions is not a solitary endeavour but a partnership with the Creator of the universe. Throughout the Bible, we witness how God empowers His servants to accomplish extraordinary tasks beyond their human capabilities. Moses, though initially hesitant, was empowered by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Joshua, facing the daunting task of conquering the Promised Land, was assured by God: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Joshua 1:9 ESV). 

God's Provision Amidst Challenges 

Serving in missions does not exempt one from challenges; however, it is within these challenges that the power and provision of God are most evident. Paul, in his missionary journeys, faced persecution, imprisonment, and numerous trials. Yet, he confidently declared, "I can do all things through him who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13 ESV). This unwavering faith in God sustained him through every trial and triumph. 

Impacting Lives for Eternity 

The call to missions transcends geographical boundaries and temporal constraints; it is about impacting lives for eternity. Each soul reached, each heart transformed, echoes throughout eternity, contributing to the fulfilment of God's redemptive plan. As Jesus Himself declared, "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20 ESV).  

Embracing the Divine Adventure 

To serve as a missionary is to embrace a divine adventure—a journey filled with purpose, power, and provision. It is a calling that transcends the ordinary, beckoning individuals to step into the extraordinary realm of God's kingdom work. As Hudson Taylor said "“All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them.” 

So can I encourage you to pray that God will continue to raise up Godly men and women who are as passionate about God, people that will go into the hardest places of share the Gospel, willing to sacrifice everything for His sake.  

And if you feel a call to engage in God's mission around the world - whether through prayer, giving, or going—let's talk! 

Michael Hanson
Executive Director