I was listening to the radio this morning,” Mr. Andrews began, “and I heard a pastor talking about spreading the good news of Jesus to the people of India. Did you know that the gospel message is sent out over the radio to more than 5 million Indian people every day?”
Mr. Andrews looked at the class. “The pastor said that when pastors hold meetings to share about Jesus, thousands of people show up! People are so hungry to learn about the Lord!” Mr. Andrews paused. “I decided this morning that I am going to be a missionary.”
The students looked at one another. Jeremy raised his hand. “Does that mean you’re not going to be our teacher anymore?” he asked.
Mr. Andrews smiled. “No,” he said. “It means I have decided that I am going on a mission trip this summer. I am going to Mexico! Jeremy,” he continued, “would you please read Matthew 28:19 and 20 for us?”
Jeremy found the texts and read aloud, “ ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” He looked up.
”Thank you, Jeremy,” Mr. Andrews said. He looked at the class. “I’ve been thinking for a long time that I would like to be a missionary. And the pastor on the radio this morning really inspired me. I think God was speaking to my heart.
“We can get caught up in so many things here on earth,” Mr. Andrews went on. “Making money, making friends, having a good time. It’s so easy to forget what’s really important in life.”
Marianne waved her hand in the air. “My dad is always telling me that,” she said. “He says everything here on earth is going to burn, and we need to store our treasure up in heaven.”
“Your dad’s absolutely right,” Mr. Andrews said. “I want you to think about today’s Bible story. Those words that Jeremy read are just about the last words the disciples heard from Jesus’ lips before He went back to heaven.
“Jesus had asked them to meet Him at a special place where they had spent a lot of time together. He gave them encouragement and instructions and told them that He would be with them always.
“But Jesus wasn’t just speaking to His 11 disciples. He was speaking to all His disciples down through the ages. He was speaking to you and to me. We have all been chosen to tell others about Jesus. There’s nothing more important that we can do in this life. So I decided to burn my skis.”
The class looked blank.
Mr. Andrews laughed. “Well, let me explain what I mean by ‘burning up my skis.’ I have been saving up for a new pair of snow skis. But because, as Marianne’s dad says, everything here is going to burn, I am going to use the money for my mission trip to Mexico instead.”
“Is it wrong to buy snow skis?” Trevor asked.
“No,” Mr. Andrews answered. “But I’ve decided that it’s a real privilege to be chosen to tell people about Jesus, and that my mission trip is more important.”
“Well,” Trevor interrupted, “I think you’re a missionary already. You teach us about God’s love. And this year Bible class is my favorite class.”
“Trevor’s right,” Marianne said. “I think we can all be missionaries. I think we all are missionaries already. It’s just that sometimes we forget it.”
“I wish kids could go on mission trips,” Matthew added.
“Well, the good news is that they can!” Mr. Andrews said. “There are lots of trips for families. The trip this summer is for families, and Pastor Jack says there are still openings.”
“I have $45 saved up,” Matthew said. “I’m saving for a new mountain bike. But maybe I could use the money for a mission trip.”
“I think I have more information sheets about the mission trip in my briefcase,” Mr. Andrews said. “Who wants one?”
Each student raised a hand.