By Shawn McMullen
Since Jesus commissioned the apostles to make disciples of all nations, men and women have been traveling the globe to take the good news of the gospel to those who haven’t heard. Recently I asked some missionaries I know to tell us why they chose the mission field.
Colombia, South America
In 1972 we began planning our departure for the jungles of Colombia, South America. Now, 40 years later, we continue to work in Colombia to evangelize, establish churches, and train leaders as these congregations become indigenous, self-supporting, and self-governing. As they mature and take the lead in evangelism, we have helped them develop their own supporting ministries, such as a school, a church camp, and a leadership training institute. Years ago we saw a great need in a country wracked with violence yet filled with wonderful people who need Jesus. Motivated by our love for the Lord and the people of Colombia, we felt compelled to go and
dedicate our lives in his service.
Hong Kong, China
We entered the mission field at the urging of the Holy Spirit. In the 1960s China was a closed country. In the 1970s our church ministry began in Hong Kong, and in 1984 the door opened for clandestine work in the mainland. By the late 1990s it became clear to us that the ministries of literature distribution, church planting, and leadership training among the ethnic majority (more than 90 percent) Han Chinese were no longer the most important tasks in which we should be engaged. We identified the “unfinished task”
(often overlooked by China’s Christians) as evangelism among the several hundred unreached ethnic minority groups in China. Since 2001 we have been involved in an outreach effort among one of these unreached groups, a Muslim minority.
Papua New Guinea
Looking at famous inscriptions during my recent studies in Israel, I thought to myself, I am so glad I am a translator with Pioneer Bible Translators in Papua New Guinea rather than being cooped up with dusty ancient inscriptions. What a joy it has been watching second generation Christians learning to read God’s Word in their own language! Ancient Near Eastern Studies had been my focus in college, but then I discovered I could use my knowledge of Greek and Hebrew to help people come to know God. In 1985 I began learning a previously unwritten language, Apal, spoken by a people group in Papua New Guinea. Now, Lord willing, the New Testament and some Old Testament books will be published in the Apal language in 2017.
Doi Saket, Thailand
For 24 years I have worked among the Lisu tribe people in northern Thailand. I serve in the library of Bethany Bible Training Center and assist with preaching in our village. In addition, I am working with Burmese refugees along the border of Thailand and Myanmar. During my most recent trip I preached and taught a course on basic Christian doctrine. I’ve wanted to be a missionary since I was a little boy, and I thank God that he has called me to work here in Thailand.