This is the mural at the group home in Palmar Ariba in the Dominican Republic. Some of the more difficult aspects of mission work is mercy work.
Detlev Schultz writes in his book “Mission from the Cross, “Christianity should be realistic in terms of goals and obstacles in mission work. Here we would do well to limit our understanding and wisdom in light of God’s purpose and intentions: “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths” Proverbs 3:5-6. All the obstacles to mission – stark opposition, financial constraints, theological confusion about the actual nature of mission, etc. – gnaw at the confidence placed in our efforts.”
Mission refers to one who is sent. God sent his son Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. Jesus was a missionary. Then Jesus told the apostles they would be missionaries too. He told them as the Father has sent me so I’m sending you in John 20. Jesus’ mission from the cross was a unique event in the history of The world and I would submit that it is the pivotal event upon which all history hinges. “Mission” is best described as an activity of God who loved the world so much he sent his son. Missions are those things that Christians participate in to bring others to know God. Do we have the conviction to see our work as a continuation of the work of Jesus? Can we keep that conviction alive when faced with defection, opposition, and hostility.?
I believe that every organization that recognizes its participation in the mission of God, needs to have a sober view of rejection and hostility. We must remember we are following the one who told people about the great gift of faith as “eating His flesh and drinking His blood”, (John 6). Because it was a hard saying in many could not deal with that they left him. Some scholars believe that the vast majority of the disciples left him. The striking hard saying of Jesus causes this remarkable conversation –
66From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.
68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”