This fall I will be helping to coordinate another Perspectives class here in Lubbock. I had spent the last several months booking speakers for our class, contacting people at different organizations, promoting the class, and so on. I am ecstatic about the speaker line-up we have for the fall! In my opinion, it will be a stellar class. While I was in the process of booking our Perspectives speakers, my friend Drew, who is on staff at my church asked me who I would want to teach at our church if I could have any missions speaker. The first person that came to mind is Brad Buser. Brad is my favorite Perspectives speaker. He spent around 20 years in Papua New Guinea, taking the gospel to the Iteri people - an unreached people group of cannibals and serial rapists. The gospel completely transformed this culture and there is now an Iteri church in Papua New Guinea.
This weekend we had the privilege of having Brad come to fill in for our pastor's first Sunday off. Andy and I went with some good friends of ours to eat dinner with him Saturday evening, carted him around to his hotel and the airport, listened to him teach Sunday morning, and had lunch with him after church. We were like sponges, soaking up everything he had to say. Even though we were expecting Brad to be intense, his message Sunday morning overwhelmed us, inspired us, and caused us to rethink how we can strategically live to bring the gospel to people who have never heard the name of Jesus before. I think his message did the same thing to everyone who heard it; when he was done speaking the auditorium was silent. He shared his story, how he never felt a "call" to be a missionary, and how we are commanded to take the gospel to the ends of the earth. Rather than waiting for "the call" to be a missionary, we should only stay if we are distinctively called to stay. And if we stay, we should know for sure why we are staying and should be living radically and intentionally with the goal of the gospel be preached to those who don't have access to it. This was a priority to Jesus. It is not an option, it is obedience. And it is not something that He is not familiar with; He left His home and paved the way by taking the gospel to us.
As Andy and I are discussing our life goals (as I know many in our church are as well), I pray that our hearts would be the good soil that Jesus talked about in Matthew 13, that we would hear the Word and our hearts would receive it and that the Lord would grant us the grace to live radically different from even the Christian culture in America and to make sacrifices so that Jesus would be known and exalted in all the earth.
I highly recommend listening to this message. You can download it here.