I’m finally on my way…to Lima, Peru! As this post appears on my blog, I am travelling via airplane from the Dominican Republic to Lima (assuming that my plane isn’t delayed…or stolen…or broken down…or delayed for forever during my layover in Panama City). Many thanks to all of my supporters for helping me get to this point!
And I’m hoping (assuming that you’ve read a bit of stuff from my blog before) that you’re NOT thinking “Oh! Levi is finally headed to the mission field!” Because the truth is: None of us have to travel to a foreign country to find the mission field. Everyone who does not have faith in Jesus Christ is a mission field…and, really, everyone who has faith in Jesus Christ is a missionary. So, really, I’ve been “on the mission field” this whole time…long before I even put in my application…or got my appointment to Peru…or started support-raising.
SO here’s the real question: How could you be active in your own mission field (which quite often could simply mean the places that you already see on a daily basis)? How could God use you today to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the lost in your own neighborhood?
Stay tuned as I get to Peru: Hopefully there will be a lot more pictures coming soon!
SO, if you haven’t met me in person before now, you may have not known that I used to have a big, bushy, mountain-man beard that totally helped me fit in where I enjoyed working almost every summer while in college: Christian summer camps. The beard was definitely not an odd thing in that environment–where kids and youth had a chance to get away from many of the distractions of this world, spending time in nature and just focusing on having fun and getting deeper in their faith walk with God.
Well, it was time for the beard to go, and here’s why: In 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, the Apostle Paul says: “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.“
What’s Paul talking about here? Great question! Paul was his own person. He didn’t have to change how he appeared, what he did, the way that he ate, what he ate, who he talked with, how he talked, etc. based on anyone else’s opinion. YET, Paul wanted to do such things so that he could better reach different people with the Gospel. Why? Because the Gospel (the good news that Jesus Christ suffered, died, and rose again so that we–poor, miserable sinners separated from God due to our sins–could be forgiven, justified, and reconciled with God so that now we can have the hope of eternal life) is way more important than Paul’s right to eat bacon or dress a certain way or act however he wanted. He wanted to make sure that the only thing that was a stumbling block for people was the Gospel itself, and not anything that he did/said/appeared.
So why did I lose the beard? Because I learned just recently that native Peruvian guys literally cannot grow facial hair. AND that means that when I get to Peru in two weeks (May 31st!) I would have stuck out A LOT (and I will already be sticking out a lot) so I wanted to lessen how much I will be sticking out…so that the only thing that would cause people to stumble after talking with me about the Gospel…is the Gospel itself.
So, how can God be using you to share the Gospel? What changes could you make to better reach the lost in your own neighborhood?