Steps to Take to Determine if God Has Called You to the Mission Field

Steps to Take to Determine if God Has Called You to the Mission Field

  1. Pray and read God’s Word on a daily basis. God speaks to us and guides us through His Word. (Ps. 119:105)
  2. Read everything you can find about missions, missionaries, and the needs of the world.
  3. Get involved in the missions program of your local church through praying, giving, and soul-winning.
  4. Go hear every missionary preacher that you can. God may use preaching to clarify His calling in your life.
  5. Talk to your pastor. Let him know how God is dealing with your heart and ask him to pray for you, to help you, and to give you specific guidance.
  6. Involve yourself in the ministries of your local church. The training and experience that you receive will be the foundation for a lifetime of service.
  7. Go on a mission trip. There are many opportunities to do so through the VBM mission trips during the summer months. Click here if you are interested in taking a mission trip.
  8. Consider giving a year of volunteer service overseas before deciding whether you should offer the rest of your life.
    • Our Generation Training Center offers training for the field on the field.
    • Through this college, you can get your Bachelor’s degree in Missions.
  9. Listen intently to the Holy Spirit and obey the Word of God.
    • Robert Speer said, “There is something wonderfully misleading, full of hallucination and delusion in this business of missionary calls. With many of us, it is not a missionary call at all that we are looking for; it is a shove. There are a great many of us who would never hear a call if it came.”

If you believe that God is leading to full-time missions work, click here to find out more about how Vision Baptist Missions, Inc. and the Our Generation Training Center can help you.

2023 OGTC Commencement Service

2023 OGTC Commencement Service

Friday night, eleven young people participated in the 2023 OGTC Commencement Service. Ten of them received “Certificates of Biblical Studies” for completing 90 credit hours of coursework along with 30 additional credits for a 6-month internship. One student received a “Recognition of Completion” of 45 credits of OGTC coursework. The graduates were from the last three years.

We’re very proud of all these young people and grateful for their families, their home churches, and the faculty and missionaries who mentored them during their time of training. Training young people is a team effort, and it was clear during the Commencement services that these young people have a great support network.

As we enter the summer break, we know many young people are praying about their next steps. For those interested in missionary service, we want to suggest the Our Generation Training Center as a place of training. Through biblical teaching, practical training, personal mentoring, and an overseas internship, the OGTC can help you prepare for effective missionary service. Classes start on August 22! Enroll by August 1! Find out more here.

Young Preachers – China’s Doors Are Open!

Young Preachers – China’s Doors Are Open!

The following plea for laborers comes from one of Vision Baptist Mission’s missionaries serving the Lord in mainland China.

It’s official. The Lord has answered years of prayer. As of Wednesday, March 15, 2023, China’s Immigration Bureau has re-opened its borders to all pre-pandemic visa types – including tourists. For the first time in three years, foreigners may once again come to China for work, business, study, and travel. The hold placed on visas issued pre-pandemic has also been lifted, meaning that those visas issued before March 2020 are once again in effect. Praise the Lord – China is once again accessible to many here in the States! The doors are open and gospel messengers can again come in with relative ease! The need for the gospel in China is great, and now the opportunities are great as well!

What China needs now is a surge of missionaries.

What China needs is an influx of gospel-heralding laborers. What China needs is a flood of “ready scribes” armed with the Word of God to enter preaching the saving message of Jesus Christ.

Young preacher, would you be willing to join such a surge? Would you be willing to come to China as a preacher of the cross? Would you be willing to devote your life to making Jesus known throughout China? Take a moment and consider these questions.

As you consider them, recall Ezra the priest. Described in Ezra 7 as a “ready scribe in the law of Moses” (Ezra 7:6), Ezra brought the preaching of God’s Word back into Israel post-exile. He, along with a group of some thirteen men and other Levites, “read in the book of the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused [the people of Israel] to understand the reading” (Nehemiah 8:8).

The task of Ezra and these other men was rather straightforward. They read the Bible, they gave the sense of the Bible, and they caused the people to understand the Bible. They read the Word, explained the Word, and helped the people understand the Word.

Young preacher, would you consider devoting your life to doing the same in China? Would you consider spending the bulk of your remaining days on this earth reading the Bible in China, giving the sense of the Bible in China, and causing Chinese people to understand the Bible?

Would you be willing to read the Word in Chinese, explain the Word in Chinese, and help Chinese people understand the Word?

Yes, it will take some time to learn Chinese. Yes, it will take some time to learn to eat with chopsticks. Yes, it will take some time to raise support. And yes, if you haven’t begun already, it will take some time to prepare yourself spiritually for such a task.

Yes, it will take time. But it will be immensely worth the preparation.

Again, I challenge you to consider Ezra the priest. In Ezra 7, just after being described as a “ready scribe”, he is noted as a man who had “prepared his heart.” The Bible says that he “prepared his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgements” (Ezra 7:10). Ezra prepared his heart to seek the Bible, to do the Bible, and to teach in Israel the Bible — all long before he went to Israel and actually preached it.

Young preacher, would you be willing to begin today preparing your heart? Would you prepare your heart to seek the Bible, do the Bible, and teach in China the Bible? Would you begin now to get yourself ready to seek the Word of God, to obey the Word of God, and to teach in China the Word of God?

When the people of Israel understood the Word of God after Ezra’s explanation, they made “great mirth” and were joyful “because they had understood the words that were declared unto them” (Nehemiah 8:12). Be assured, young preacher, that the people of China would equally make great mirth and be joyful if they were to have someone cause them to understand the Bible! They would rejoice if you would come and explain the Words of Life to them!

So what are you waiting for? The doors are open!

China can be entered once again! China needs gospel preaching! China needs men who will read the Bible, explain the Bible, and help them understand the Bible.

Young preacher, will you prepare your heart and come to China preaching Christ?

If you or someone you know is interested in missions in China, please contact Vision Baptist Missions to start a conversation with a missionary about how to take the next step on your path from where the Lord has currently placed you all the way to proclaiming Jesus Christ in China.

Repost: Staying the Course by Rex Cobb

Repost: Staying the Course by Rex Cobb

Rex Cobb from Baptist Bible Translators Institute wrote the following article encouraging missionaries to stay the course! Or course there are legitimate reasons missionaries must come off the mission field, but we hope, as I’m sure the author does, that this article will encourage those on the field to keep going and those who are considering missionary service to be in it for the long haul.

With eight billion souls in our world, and three hundred eight-five thousand being born every day, the words of Jesus still ring true, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few.” We need thousands of new missionaries; and we need the present ones to stay the course! No one announces their intention to go to the mission field without a desire for a long, fruitful ministry. Yet, it seems that missionaries who spend decades on the field have become less common. Why? Recently, a missions-minded pastor asked me to share my thoughts on selecting missionaries to support who will stay the course. This article, which I pray will be a help to both missionaries and pastors, is the result.

While we encourage all to consider missionary service, presenting yourself to the churches as a missionary is like matrimony—it should not be entered into lightly. Some missionaries have asked churches to invest in them only to fail to reach the field or to depart prematurely. William D. Taylor with the World Evangelical Fellowship Missions Commission claims that 71% of early missionary departures are preventable. God’s people want to invest in new missionaries, but they deserve some measure of assurance that the missionary will stay the course and do what he promises.

Missionaries are expensive but well worth the cost if they accomplish their goals. We understand that sometimes it becomes impossible for a missionary to reach the field or remain there. He may face political unrest or visa problems. But if this happens, it may be God’s direction to a different field, not His leadership back home. Sickness is a common reason for leaving the field. Missionary friend, if this happened—we should say when this happens—consider getting medical help there or in a neighboring country. If you must return stateside for treatment, determine to return to your field as soon as possible. Give up your support and stay home only as a last resort.

Sometimes missionaries leave their field due to unresolved conflicts with other missionaries or nationals. If these painful incidents occur, seek counsel from your pastor and others. Separate yourself from that location, if necessary, but not from your mission field. (See Acts 15:36-41.) God put you there; don’t let a man send you home!

Failure to learn the language well and become comfortable in the culture is often an underlying factor in early departures. Inability to communicate is very frustrating. Determine to spend at least your first two years in nothing but language and culture learning. Our pre-field linguistic training will help you learn quickly and accurately and help you to recognize and deal with the language and culture shock you will inevitably face. Your ability to adapt is vital to success in communication. It is difficult to remain in an uncomfortable place when you struggle to communicate.

If you are a supporting pastor, we suggest you not simply rely on a questionnaire or brief phone conversation before adding a missionary for monthly support. A personal call to the missionary’s sending pastor might reveal some valuable information. Does the pastor have any reservations about sending him? Is the sending church completely behind him, and how much money are they investing in him? Is the pastor willing to visit his missionary couple on the field to ensure that they are adapting well and learning the language?

Next, ask questions about the missionaries’ family life and active ministry. Are they humble, hospitable, and ministry-minded? Have they served faithfully in the church? Have they taught Sunday School or Junior Church, cleaned toilets, worked in the bus ministry, the jail, or in the nursing home? How well does the pastor really know the man, his wife, and his children? Does he only see them on Sundays and Wednesdays? What is the home really like? Is the couple training their children? Is the wife completely dedicated to a life on the foreign field? Are they willing to make sacrifices for the sake of the ministry?

Discover the character of the missionary. Is the pastor quite sure his missionary is not viewing pornography? Is he (or his wife) addicted to his cell phone or social media? Can he stick with a task? Can he put down his electronic toys and get his hands dirty? Is he an extra-mile Christian or does he do only what is expected? How does the missionary react to adversity? Can he respond Biblically to interpersonal conflicts? Is he faithful and consistent in giving of his finances? Language learning and missionary work require that he endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Finally, discover all you can about the missionaries’ preparation. Do they know their Bible? Have they been to Bible college, or do they have a good explanation why it was not necessary? Do they plan to get specialized linguistic and cross-cultural training before going to the field? Do not accept the response, “We don’t have time.” They take time for financial preparation. Nine months of Advanced Missionary Training will prepare them to communicate clearly in a new language. Have they researched their country and know its history, heroes, culture, and government? What have they learned about the Bible they will be using? Do they care about its accuracy and purity? Do they know or care about the status of people groups in the country? Are they reached, unreached, or Bibleless? Is the missionary willing to find answers to these questions?

Before taking a missionary on, it is wise to have a face-to-face meeting. If you have concerns related to any of the topics above, share them. Be kind and gentle and do not expect perfection. Remember that God holds us all to the same standard. Give the missionary godly suggestions in the areas where he may be lacking and schedule a future interview; give him six or eight months to implement your suggestions. Be willing to qualify and slow to disqualify this precious missionary family! Above all, pray for discernment. God knows who will stay the course!

VBM Weekly Update

VBM Weekly Update

Weekly Highlights

  • Latin America Regional Conference – Every two years, VBM holds a conference in each major overseas region (e.g. Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America). This past week was the Latin America Regional Conference held in Barranquilla, Colombia. The purposes of the regional conferences are encouragement and ongoing training for missionaries on the field. We had a wonderful time with 28 missionaries in attendance as well as 3 interns. It was a very encouraging time. Please pray for all those who serve the Lord in Latin America, and consider going as a missionary to Latin America. For those who are interested, find out more on the Vision for Latin America website or at the “Unfinished Conference” on May 13, 2023.
  • Cross-Cultural Servanthood Module – This week, all the students in the Our Generation Training Center were in a module class with Missionary to South Africa, Mark Coffey. Mark has been serving in South Africa for many years. We’re grateful that he took the time to share experiences and advice in cross-cultural ministry.
  • New Interns in Bolivia – One of our intern couples made it to Bolivia after completing their fundraising. Please pray for them as they begin this phase of missionary training. If you’re interested in doing a missions internship, go here to find out more.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for the country of Colombia and all of Latin America. There is still much work to be done in that part of the world.
  • Pray for a couple that visited the VBM campus this week and is considering coming for missionary training.
  • Pray for God to give wisdom as VBM seeks to hire an additional staff member to help with the work of the home office.
  • Pray for the work that is being done on the Carey Center building. The first big remodeling phase is about finished and will provide more offices, classrooms, a kitchen, a lobby, and a nursery. The Lord has been providing. We only lack $15,000 to complete this phase.

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