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I had been a believer for only a few weeks when Dan introduced me to his parents, missionaries on furlough from some nation whose name is lost to the years. I was struck by how “like me” they seemed, and I suppose this reveals some expectation that missionaries weren’t like me.

In the first few weeks of my new relationship with Jesus, it never occurred to me that there were people who would give their lives to go very far away, live among people they had never met and learn a language that was not their own so they could tell people about Jesus. How could this couple be like me?

I listened to their stories of salvations, healings and restored lives and how these new believers started new churches in their towns. I was so new in Jesus, and yet they told stories of believers just a bit older in Christ than me becoming the pastors and leaders in these new churches. I remember wondering if they shared my difficulty understanding the King James Version of the Bible or if they even read the King James Version. I smiled at that thought; these new pastors also seemed so much like me.

I now understand what the Holy Spirit was doing for, to and in me through Dan’s parents during those first months in Christ. And I will never forget the truth sealed to my heart during those precious months as well: Ignorance of the saving work of Jesus is not an excuse before the throne of God on judgment day.

In fact, if ignorance somehow provides some benefit in our judgment, then evangelism and missions are cruel works of the church. It would be much better to remain silent about the gospel than to share it and make the ignorant aware, thus removing a precious eternal protection. No, the truth is that someone must go, or these people will perish in their sins! It all seems so theological and deep now, but it was the reason to give away your life to people in nations around the world in 1974.

Dan’s mom and dad were missionaries in that nation so those men, women and children would learn of the great love of God, to know the gift of God in His Son, Jesus Christ, who died for their sins, rose from the dead and was coming again to be forever with those who had asked for forgiveness and received Him as Savior.

Can you think of any better reasons for people like us to pray, give and go? 

By: Jim Scott, vice president of global operations, Foursquare Missions International director

is a freelance writer and editor. She lives in Orlando, Fla.