Jack,About 3 months ago Missions has been really laid on my heart. I am very honored to have this passion, but I do not know where to go from here. I am praying for guidance. Could you recommend any reading material or contacts that I may speak with to take the next step in this calling? I am a 27 year old young professional in the Civil Engineering career. Thank you for your time. Kathi
Kathi, at this time I am in Colombia, far from home and my library, and the only literature I am in contact with is in Spanish, so I can only pull things out of my memory. I would recommend anything written by Paul Borthwick. His books are short, pithy, and practical. You can find them on Amazon.com.
" Ask the Lord to lay a country or a mission on your heart, through reading or meeting a missionary. Talk to your pastor and get his suggestions about missions opportunities. Be on the look out for missionary conferences. Get to know one or two missionaries that impress you, and begin to receive their prayer letters and intercede for them faithfully. Go on mission trips. Badger visiting missionaries you respect with questions; the harder the better. I think the time will come when you'll begin to see the Lord giving you focus; a burden; a desire. A country may attract you, or a mission. Read mission magazines you may find in your church.
" All of the above assumes your faithfulness in the Christian "disciplines" or regular Bible study, prayer, fellowship, and witness.
" You will want to think about what you may want to do as a missionary. Being a Civil Engineer you might find work done by Relief and Development agencies interesting. Check out World Vision, Food for the Hungry, World Relief, or other large organizations. Look on their web sites, call them, or even better, visit them either in the U.S. or where they have field teams working.
" Meanwhile, take advantage of opportunities to grow spiritually through leading a Sunday School class, taking a course in personal evangelism, or even a year in a Bible School or Seminary. You will want a background in theology, English Bible, anthropology, and even psychology.
" Ask the Lord every day to show you the next step, to bring people, events, literature to your attention. He is immensely creative. One day you will look back and be amazed how He answered these prayers.
May the Lord give you a tender heart and a listening ear so that when His voice comes you'll be willing to obey.
He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out… [and] goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice (Jn 10:3, 4).