Written by Dr. Bill Bagents
This week I am back in the Philippines for a two-week stay of teaching and sharing the Gospel. Why?
Here are some reasons I could have opted to stay home.
- Because the trip is too short. We’ll get there tired and come back more so.
- Because there’s important work at home. We’ll come back further behind than ever.
- Because I need a break from Laura. No, just not true. Admittedly, she may be blessed with a break from me, but I still like being home with her.
On the positive side,
- I’m back because the work is solidly centered in the gospel. Excellent men are being trained as gospel preachers with a very strong emphasis on evangelism.
- I’m back because of the fellowship. I don’t know which impresses one most, the Filipino work ethic or the hospitality.
- I’m back because every time I make a teaching trip I learn more than anyone in the classes. Teaching internationally reminds us of the transcendent power of God’s word.
- I’m back because the Mars Hill church is kind enough to let me go. Others, especially Chris, will face extra work, but they encourage rather than complain.
- I’m back because of the amazing potential. Filipino preachers are welcome in places throughout Asia where people from the U.S. aren’t.
Under the “difficult to categorize” category,
- I’m back because I don’t say “no” well. Strong argument could be made that an overscheduled man shouldn’t take on additional responsibilitiess. On the other hand, what could be more important than helping excellent men learn to preach the gospel more effectively?
- I’m back because things went well last year. I’m happy they went well, but there’s great truth in the adage, “You’ll never make the same mission trip twice.” Things change; people change. There’s no such thing as an exact repeat. As the investment professionals tell us, “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”
- I’m back because I hate to say “no” to a gospel opportunity. Would others go if I didn’t? Might those others do a better job? Yes. But Ecclesiastes 9:10 and Colossians 3:23-24 lean strongly in favor of trying, giving God your best, and trusting God for outcomes that are bigger than our talents.
- I’m back because I’m aware that there will come a time when I either can’t or shouldn’t go. John 9:4 reminds us of that truth.
- I’m back because traveling in God’s work doesn’t scare me. Statistically speaking, flying is the safest of transportation modes, but that’s not my source of comfort. It’s an honor to be able to teach God’s truth—anywhere and anytime. Why be scared of doing something that you love?