“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”
From June 6 – 11, 2016, I had the privilege of ministering with Vladimir and Heidi Monge, Pastor Jaime Blandon, and others, in Providencia Palaquina, Nicaragua. Chapel Library, Pensacola, Florida, graciously provided Spanish material for the conference. More than one hundred people who attended the conference were blessed by the free grace resources they received.
It would be easy to focus on the challenges facing missionaries, even those going on a short term mission trip. There are many difficulties, to include the expenses of travelling to minister, oppressive heat, harsh rains, humidity, language barrier, and the unexpected adventures such as an earthquake.
Rather than focus on these things, I want to focus on the blessings of ministering to others in another country, and the blessings of going on a short term trip.
There is the blessing of longing hearts. The people in Nicaragua I spoke to for five hours a day, over a three day period, longed to hear the Word of God being taught. They were eager to learn about Church History. One of the most common expressions was: “We never heard this before!” Many had never heard of Martin Luther and the Reformation. Most had never heard of the five great principles of the Reformation and what they meant: Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone vs. Tradition and Councils); Sola Fide (Faith alone); Sola Gratia (Grace alone); Sola Christus (Christ alone); and Sola Deo Gloria lived out Coram Deo (before the face of God). What a blessing it was to teach the people God’s Word, and some of the history of the church.
Then, there was the blessing of love. The people of Nicaragua are a very kind and affectionate people. They like to express their affection in a variety of ways, from a polite physical embrace, to attentiveness of personal needs.
Finally, there was the blessing of lasting impressions upon the heart, to include the beauty of the land, and the dedication of the people to overcome every obstacle to gather under the sound of the gospel. People walked, or rode whatever vehicle they could, often through oppressive heart, or mud and rain, to get to the conference. Watching the people gather, a few at a time, will not be forgotten.
I encourage anyone, and everyone, to go on a short term mission trip. You will be blessed as you find that God has an elect people around the world from every tongue and nation. So many are waiting for you to come to them.
Stanford E. Murrell