When I first started out in missionary work, I decided to form a team of ten people to go to Kolkata, India to share the love of Jesus with the millions of people living on the sidewalks of that broken, dirty city.
I first went to New York City to talk with a group of missions leaders about the idea and hoped to gain their support and prayer. About twelve of them sat around a big table, looking very stern and powerful.
I was a young, inexperienced, twenty-four-year-old nobody coming to share with these mature, godly men about the clear, direct vision God had given me to take a giant leap of faith. I proposed we take ten young people to walk the streets of Kolkata selling gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the local languages telling the people about Jesus.
After my explanation, the men told me I was too young and didn’t know the culture or the language and had no experience. “You could bring harm to the cause of Christ. Give the money it will cost to the missionaries already there, and they can make much better use of it than you young people ever will,” they seriously said.
They ended the meeting by asking me to reconsider my plan. I walked out of there deflated and discouraged. After an hour or two of feeling rejected and depressed, I had the distinct sense that God wanted me to keep moving forward with the vision he had given me. Within six months, God miraculously provided all the money we needed from hundreds of people giving small gifts, and we were on our way to India!
In the first ninety days of work, we sold a hundred thousand gospels sharing the story of Jesus’ love and salvation with the people, and over eight thousand young Hindus and Muslims returned the form included in each gospel requesting a correspondence course on the Gospel of Mark. Tens of thousands of people read about the true Jesus for the very first time and some became followers of him. Unwavering faith to keep going forward despite obstacles and opposition is what God wants for all of us.
When you take steps of unwavering faith, there will always be people who will discourage and criticize you, but God wants you to keep pressing ahead, pursuing ventures that will bring glory to him.*
I hope this except from Kevin’s most recent book was as encouraging to you as it was to me. Oftentimes in life there is something we feel compelled to do but we hesitate because the obstacles seem too challenging.For instance, many of us would like to do something about the millions of people living in abject poverty around the world. But the problem is so huge it’s easy to get discouraged and believe that you can’t make much of a difference, so why bother? Sometimes there can be real hurdles preventing you from doing the very thing God has put on your heart.
But what if Kevin had given a higher priority to what those serious, mature men at the table told him instead of the vision he knew was from the Lord? In this case, those hundred thousand gospels would not had been distributed throughout the streets of Kolkata when they were, and tens of thousands of people would not have heard the gospel when they did—if at all.
So go ahead and take that first step of unwavering faith. It’s ok if you are nervous. It’s ok if the obstacles are real and challenging. If the Lord has willed it, He will make a way to accomplish it!
-Leslee Baron, Bright Hope Marketing Coordinator
*This passage was taken from Kevin Dyer’s most recent book, Unwavering Faith, Unshakable Hope, Unfailing Love.