Hi Jack,I have a B.S. in ...

Rachel asked:

Hi Jack,I have a B.S. in Kinesiology and just finished my M.A. in Religion. I have a huge heart for the world and am passionate about bringing hope to the hopeless through the gospel. I spent last summer in Ethiopia and the longer I stayed the longer I want to stay. I am home and working now, but desire more. I am torn between "being responsible" and making a living for myself, and going on the mission field. Any thoughts? Or any ideas as to a sort of tent-making ministry I could serve with. I'll go almost anywhere. I particulary love kids and athletics. I am young, willing, able and passionate and it seems there are such great needs all over the world. Any advice is appreciated!Thanks so much!Rachel

Jack Answered:

Rachel, I love to hear someone say they have “a huge heart for the world” and concern for the “hopeless through the Gospel!”

Since you loved Ethiopia so much, why don’t you consider returning?! I wish we could sit down and talk about what you did there and why you wanted to stay.

Question: Why do you consider making a living for yourself being more “responsible” than serving the Lord as a missionary and giving your life for others? If God calls you to serve Him in a cross-cultural situation, He has many ways for you to be supported – all of which could be considered quite responsible! Some, like my wife and myself, have depended on the gifts of churches and individuals for 45 years. Others are “tent makers,” earning their money overseas, especially in countries of difficult access, and sharing the Gospel through normal life experiences.

With your concern for the “hopeless” I could see you working with “children at risk,” a ministry that is attracting a lot of young people these days, or in an orphanage, or collaborating in an area of poverty, using your gifts and training to help young people while sharing the life you have found in Jesus.

I have a missionary friend in Colombia who over the years has developed a soccer club for kids in the poor barrios of a large city. This year he has almost 1,500 kids involved, meeting weekly in clubs run by Colombian coaches he has trained, who begin each session with a Bible study and prayer. Many young people have found Jesus in these clubs.

Bottom line – the only true “responsible” response of a Christian would be to find the Lord’s will and do it – whether it is living and witnessing here in the U.S. or abroad; geography is incidental. I’m sure you agree.

May the Lord guide you in finding His will as you seek Him. And then when He shows you, being willing to obey.

In His Grace,



Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


These blogs are the words of the writers and do not represent InterVarsity or Urbana. The same is true of any comments which may be posted about any blog entries. Submitted comments may or may not be posted within the blog, at the blogger's discretion.