I love when missionaries come to church and speak, however I especially love it when I don't know they are coming. I was in Cleveland this weekend at my parent's church and one of the church's missionaries, Carson Fremont gave the morning and evening messages. Carson and his wife Joyce are missionaries with ABWE. Carson was ordained for the ministry in 1950 and left with ABWE originally in 1952. He has been a missionary a long time.
Missionaries like Carson & Joyce are a dying breed and unfortunately they are not being replaced. I do not have exact numbers in front of me, however I do know that the number of missionaries retiring today does not equal the number of new missionaries going to the field (whether domestic or foreign). However, I am encouraged by the number of missionaries from foreign countries coming to the US and other countries around the world. The evangelisation of the world is a world-wide effort.
I was speaking with a retired missionary at church yesterday and she and I were both very excited about Carson's presentation and the challenge for us to finish the work God has given us to do. We all have a part in God's work. We should start where we are. This is a hard concept for me at times because it is far easier for me to think about what God is doing in Sri Lanka, rather than what he is doing in downtown Grand Rapids (or Brandon, Florida). It is not wrong for us to think about what God is doing around the world, however we can't loose sight of what He is doing here at the same time.
1) I must complete the work God has given me to do.
2) I can't forget about the work here in the US while I think about the work around the world.