When the church lives on mission, the gospel is preached, families are transformed, wounds are healed, and the name of Christ is exalted.
I was born into a family living in extreme poverty in an area known as “the path of misery,” halfway between our region’s main city and Colombia’s most important tourist destinations.
When I was three months old, my father abandoned my mother, leaving us homeless. My mother was forced to work in family homes for many years to feed my older brother and me. In my memories, there is no father’s hug nor wise advice in times of despair. I grew up with a lot of resentment against my father for not being there when I needed him and not supporting the needs we had as a family.
By the grace of God, my mother was reached by the gospel and gave me a testimony of faith in Christ. It was when I became a Christian that the Lord began to comfort me and heal the wounds in my heart. And he began preparing me to serve his church, something I never imagined. In my memories, there is no father's hug nor wise advice in times of despair. I grew up with a lot of resentment against my father for not being there when I needed him and not supporting the needs we had as a family. Condividi il Tweet
Years passed, and the Lord called me to plant a church in the city of Santa Marta, Colombia. Providentially, the Lord also led us to serve many vulnerable families. We saw people saved physically and spiritually by the power of God through the gospel.
Currently, the church has an Integral Development Center that serves children and adolescents in their spiritual, physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive formation. Many of these children have been abandoned and seek the comfort and hope that only our heavenly Father can give them.
Transformed to Serve
“For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9).
When Christ calls his people, he saves us from eternal damnation and sin and calls us to follow in the footsteps of his missionary endeavor. As his church, we are transformed to serve and live in mission, having compassion for the multitudes that walk like “sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).
We are transformed to announce in words and works that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life.
Compassion for the Multitudes
The Scriptures affirm that Christ, being king and Savior, searches intensely and diligently for sinners who will be objects of his compassion. Jesus went through all the cities and villages to teach, preach, and heal all sickness and disease (Matt. 9:35).
Christ’s concern was intentionally set on doing God’s mission. In those days, there were no modern means of transportation—no cars, motorcycles, or planes. However, Christ spared no effort to seek out and save the lost. See the compassion of Christ to seek and save sinners!
You and I, his church, are called to follow in Jesus’s footsteps and live missionally. This work is not restricted exclusively to the pastor or church leaders. We need to encourage our churches to live missionally and be involved.
A Living Faith Leads to an Involved Church
In our missionary context in Santa Marta, Colombia, the Lord has given us a seedbed to preach the gospel in word and works. Our church has a mercy ministry that serves different communities as the fruit of a living faith. We are transformed to announce in words and works that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Condividi il Tweet
One of the areas in which the church is involved is serving 268 vulnerable children and their families. More than 15 church volunteers donate their time every day to serve as mentors for children and adolescents. Priority is given to a comprehensive formation that addresses spiritual, physical, economic, and social needs. Also, the church is involved in many activities with them, so our church knows these children.
Due to our proximity to the Venezuelan border, we currently invite about 30 Venezuelan families to listen to the gospel and serve them by providing groceries and helping with their medical needs. We invest in these families.
All this missional work is the fruit of the gospel. We understand we’re saved by the grace of God through faith in Christ alone—but this faith is alive and active in works (James 2:14–17).
Following in the footsteps of Christ by living on mission implies being fully involved. As a church, we not only have to preach in words but also in true works that come out of a regenerated heart seeking to love God and neighbor. As a church, we not only have to preach in words but also in true works that come out of a regenerated heart seeking to love God and neighbor. Condividi il Tweet
Let’s challenge our churches to get involved in their communities. Let’s have programs that help the church to live on mission in word and deed, so the name of Christ is exalted in every community, in every place on earth, through the advancing mission of Jesus.