The Cost of Missions

This pass week, I briefly heard on the news about 23 Koreans who were abducted in Afghanistan on July 19th. You can read up on the story here. Since then the Taliban killed one of the hostages. I found out that the person who was killed was Hyung Kyu Bae, a 42 year old pastor.

As I stayed at my parents place, I could not avoid the constant news report on the Korean News channel that my parents had on almost 24 hours.

When I first heard about the situation last week, several thoughts went through my mind. First of all, I was thinking about the lack of wisdom on the part of this Korean church that sent people into this dangerous area. Secondly, I was wondering what they thought they would accomplish by going to a place that has not really “opened” up yet. Even though they went under the covering of “humanitarian work,” I am wondering if it was the right timing (I have nothing against humanitarian work to do missions). I think some of these things are valid points that anyone doing missions needs to consider.

But after this weekend, the Holy Spirit reminded me of couple of other things:

1) There is always a cost in missions – I am constantly reminded that there is always a cost to the Christian life. Even from the onset of our commitment to Christ, He calls us to give up everything. When we look at the infant stage of the Church in the 1st century, we see that there were many people who died for their faith – whether through persecution or through dangers of carry the Gospel to the nations.

2) When the price is paid there will be many fruits – God reminded me of Jn 12:24-26, “I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.” All throughout history, when people died for the Gospel it was never in vain. God kept on reminding me of Jim Elliot and the other missionaries that died in Ecuador because they wanted to bring the Gospel to people who have not heard of Jesus. In fact, after their martyrdom there were hundreds and thousands of young people who gave themselves to world missions due to their sacrifice and inspiration.

The situation is still uncertain, therefore instead of giving our opinions the most important thing is to pray for them and their families.

“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” [Jim Elliot]