It is that time of year. The teams are set, the training has begun, and our missionaries have started their 6-month journey with Biking for Babies. Over the next couple of months, they will train, fundraise, learn, and deepen their relationship with Christ all in order to complete the National Ride that culminates in the heart of our country. Right now, our missionaries are experiencing a lot of excitement and anticipation. There is joy in meeting new people and in starting something new with others from around the country who have similar ideas and love for Christ. God created us for happiness, so it is easy to relish in this new season for our missionaries and supporters.
However, we must remember He created us for eternal happiness, not the happiness of this world. That is not to say that we should not enjoy in this time of excitement and expectation, but rather to say that during this time, our missionaries must put on the armor of Christ (Ephesians 6:10-18) because temptation is just around the corner.
When Christ observed a poor widow offering 2 coins to the synagogue treasury, He compared that gift to the rich who were giving large sums of money. Christ reminded us that the poor woman gave the most because she gave from her livelihood and not her surplus (Mark 12: 41-44). So too, are our missionaries.
Many of them are giving up time they do not have to train and fundraise. Many of them are giving up time this summer with friends and family to attend the National Ride. Some are giving up time at their jobs and sacrificing their only week of vacation to stand side-by-side with our PRCs and support them and the women they serve. In the months leading up to the trip, they will feel the temptation to cling to the things they are sacrificing for this mission. They may hear doubts from well-intended friends or even family members: “Just give some money” or “Join next year when life is more stable.” Essentially, give when you have a surplus. This, my friends, will not transform a culture of death into a culture of life. This will only perpetuate it. It is that same attitude of “comfortable giving” that Christ warned against.
In this time, we must pray that our missionaries are “all in” for the entire season. No matter the inconvenience and no matter the cost. Not because we wish hardship on our missionaries, but because we know all too well that the Devil will try to make us bow out. He will try and make us fear for the comforts our missionaries are forfeiting. This is an inevitable truth for our missionaries. We may feel like the poor widow who must have been afraid about where she would get her next meal as she put in her 2 coins. Remember, she threw aside her fears and trusted in God. That is what our missionaries need to do. They need to be a light to this country that, no matter the circumstances, standing for truth, love, and life is always worth the cost.
Let us remember the warning in 1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For that is in the world…a pretentious life, is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet the world and its enticement are passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains forever.”