Mission to the World
April 24, 2021
Wycliffe Bible Translators have been translating the Word of God into as many languages as possible. Cameron Townsend, pioneer of linguistic and missionary endeavors in Central America, desperately wanted to translate the Bible into the local Indian languages of Mexico.
In 1935 Townsend and his wife, Elvira, with several students who had learned his methods, went to Mexico to undertake their work. The group settled in a tiny Aztec village, a two-hour mountain drive from Mexico City, and began learning the language of the local people. They had the support of the secretary of labor, who was interested in a cultural program for the Indians. He had his department publish Townsend’s primers for teaching Aztecs to read.
Townsend worked diligently to improve the quality of their life while celebrating the unique qualities of their culture. In the village where he worked day to day, he noticed a freshwater spring that ran down the backside of the village, only to be wasted on the steep slope. He encouraged the villagers to plant crops in such a way as to take advantage of the water supply. They diverted the spring to an open area, and soon successful crops were producing much food. The economy in that area blossomed, and Townsend wrote an article about the whole experience.
The article found its way to the desk of the president of Mexico, Lázaro Cárdenas, who was curious about this gringo (foreigner) who would live among his people and help them in such a profound way. Townsend had gone to live in an area where even the local government employees refused to live. The president made a journey to the village to meet Townsend, and when the car pulled into the center of the village, the humble missionary made his way over to meet the visitors. Townsend greeted the president and was surprised to be greeted with “You are the man I have come to see! Tell me about what you are doing here.” Townsend shared his story and reminded the president of his desire to translate the Scriptures into the local language. Lázaro Cárdenas gladly allowed him to translate the Bible into the local tongue; this began a friendship with the Mexican government that lasted many years. During that season of favor the gospel spread throughout the region, and the Word of God flourished among many different cultures.
Mission work is all about sharing the gospel, but in many scenarios, the walls have to be broken down by selfless service and hard work. This is how the the Savior worked on behalf of people. Can you think of some examples in the life of Christ?
Memory Text: “Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6).
Our Beliefs, no. 13, The Remnant and Its Mission: “The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. In continuity with the people of God in Old Testament times, we are called out from the world; and we join together . . . for service to humanity, and for the worldwide proclamation of the gospel.”
Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, pp. 88-91
Read Matthew 28:18-20.
On the forum are posted some requests for your feedback about mission. Be sure to go online and share what you think it takes to be a missionary.
Read Jeremiah 23:3; 2 Peter 3:10-14; Revelation 14:6.
God has called us to a special work as we live in the last days of the history of this world. To share the good news about Jesus, we need to let His light shine through our actions and words. We are called to serve others with kindness and to lead them to the compassionate and loving Savior.
As we are rapidly approaching the second coming of Jesus, how are you responding to His Great Commission?
What are ways you can do your part in serving others and sharing God’s love through actions and words?
Using the word list, find the missing words to read the following Bible texts. All texts are from the New King James Version.
“And He said to them, ‘ into all the and the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned’” (Mark 16:15, 16).
“I will also give You as a to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6).
“And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the of God and have the of Jesus Christ” (Revelations 12:17).
“For we must all before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Read Matthew 9:35-38.
One of the most moving scenes in all of Scripture is found in Matthew 9:35-38: “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”
Compassion moves people to action. From a distance, you can pity someone who is hurting. You can even sympathize and hurt for people who are suffering, because you know what they are going through is horrible. But you can still stay home and do nothing.
Compassion, as seen in the life of Jesus, forces people to act. Jesus shouts, “I need workers to help!” Most people stop short of responding because they do not know what to do.
Start with your money. People who give to missions are more likely to live with the spirit of mission. Another paraphrase might be “Put your money where you want your heart to be.”
Carve out time to pray for and write letters to missionaries.
Sponsor a student missionary with letters of encouragement from home.
Send Bibles to a school or church overseas.
These are just a few ideas. The important thing is to do something. And it seems that the more you do, the more you will know what to do. It is not entirely clear why this is true, but it works. Try it.
“He who gives money or time for spreading the gospel enlists his own interest and prayers for the work, and for the souls to be reached through it; his affections go out to others, and he is stimulated to greater devotion to God, that he may be enabled to do them the greatest good” (Ellen G. White, Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing, p. 90).
Complete. All texts are from the New King James Version.
1. “Go into all the world and preach the gospel” is known as the Great. (Matthew 28:19)
2. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus said He would be with us—“even to the end of the age.”
3. What will melt in 2 Peter 3:10-14?
4. God’s message is to go “to every nation, tribe, tongue, and” (Revelation 14:6).
5. God is looking for a people that “have the of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 12:17).
6. “ them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).
7. God is looking for a people that keep His (Revelation 12:17).
8. In the last days, we are to proclaim the three angels’ to all the world (Revelation 14:6-12).
9. Jesus sends the Holy to give us power to witness for Him (Acts 1:8).
10. Jesus has asked us to (Mark 16:15).
Read Isaiah 61:1-3.
Review the memory text.
Try to imagine yourself as a follower of Jesus when He was alive on this earth. Envision how compelling it must be to watch Jesus as He walks among the people, hearing and caring, coaching and giving. People are drawn to the Savior because He saves. He helps. He changes people with the touch of His hand or the truths in His message. When Jesus walks through a town, people are different.
Now jump back to reality, 2,000 years later. Would it surprise you to know that He promised the same kind of results for you? Check this out: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father” (John 14:12).
Sounds unbelievable? Not for God. Look at the book of Acts and see for yourself that it’s ordinary people doing little things for their Savior who produce extraordinary stories. What we have to remember is that these great people, these workers for God, are just like you and me. Ordinary people. But the step from ordinary to extraordinary is the moment we do the little things in response to God’s call to “go.”
Read Jude 3.
With a group of your friends or family members, choose areas of the world to pray for this week (and every week). Pray for a different area each day, or have each person choose a different area to pray for all week.
Go to www.adventistyearbook.org/, scroll down to the map of the world, and click on a colored area you want to pray for. You will be taken to plenty of specific names and places for which to pray. You may even want to send the ones you pray for a letter and encourage them to continue serving diligently for the gospel (the addresses are there too). Imagine how powerful it would be if teens from all over the world were praying for and sending notes of encouragement to those working around the world!