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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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LeapOfFaith89

Missionary Programs

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I used to be envious of all the teenagers who got to go to Mali or some small country to build churches and schools for poor communities. But I could never save enough money to go and pay my bills at the same time, so I've been saving away a little fund to get a passport and extra money for expenses like shots and a plane ticket. I probably won't be able to go on many because of my budget so I'm waiting for one that really speaks to me.

 

So, I was wondering if anyone here as gone out of your home country to be on a missionary program? It can even be in the country next door. I know my church went to Mexico to build so homes one summer, which sounds really fun and exciting. So what advice would you recommend before going and what experiences did you have?

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The first thing you need to do is make sure God has called you to go to another country as a missionary. If he wants you to go he will provide what you need. Until you get such a call you should focus on doing the work he has for you in your own country. He isn't likely to call someone to serve in a foreign country who isn't already serving faithfully in his home country.

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Missionary programs are very beneficial and I always get a smile on my face every time that I hear of my church's mission activities. It is a pretty small church, but somehow they manage to run at least one pretty large-scale missionary project in a developing country. They bring the kids up before they leave and everyone claps and all of that, and it is just nice to see a bunch of young people with their hearts in the right places. Spreading the good word and working for others is something that we certainly need more of in this world.

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Not really a missionary program, but when I was still in school to training to be a nurse, we had these outreach programs where we had to go deep into the mountains to tend to the smaller villages. It's basically a month long camping trip, where each house has a time difference of about 5 hours of walking and hiking between mountains. It was pretty fun, and you get to see the appreciation of the people you are visiting and giving medical advice, treatment, and so on, because they know you have been walking for hours on dirt paths through the mountains just to get to their area and give out medical assistance. It felt really good.

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@theophilus is right. You don't have to go to a foreign country to serve God. While sure it's quite satisfying to be a missionary like Paul who traveled all over, you could also opt to be like James who stayed in Jerusalem and preached to the Christians there. You can serve God anywhere you are. Daniel did. Ezekiel did. And they were all great men of God.

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