…The Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work ..
I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed.. they sent them away
I am a product of missions, converted through the work of the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (previously the China Inland Mission). My spiritual father, an Irishman, gave me my first Bible. He was also the minister who conducted my wedding service many years later at Oxford. Whether it was his weekly prayers each Thursday that shaped my spiritual growth over the years, I shall never know. One thing I know, if missionaries had not come, I would not be a believer today, and Skyline would not exist.
Acts 13 is the story of the first missionary journey in Christian history. It was initiated by the Holy Spirit after a period of prayer and fasting (v.1-3), and resulted in Paul and Barnabas leaving Antioch for Cyprus, and later Asia Minor. Here are the marks of true missions. It is God-initiated. It is church-sent. It brings the gospel into places that have never heard the Good News. It begins by evangelism, then churches are planted. It crosses culture. Gradually, cities are transformed as it reaches those in high places like Sergius Paulus (v.12) as well as common people (v.44-49).
Why then, are we not doing “overseas” missions but going into the rural interior? There are several reasons. The needs of the Sabah interior are huge. Many do not know him, thousands are in nominalism. Secondly, God has led us to sow into the SIB in the interior as a priority. Poverty and spiritual weakness make them easy targets for the majority religion. Thirdly, we ARE crossing culture when we go. Fourthly, because the WHOLE church can be mobilized this way! Finally, because in addition, we are also called to another mission field: the WORKPLACE. It’s the largest unreached mission-field today. Sure we do give to overseas missions. But for now, our focus, time and work are directed to the rural interior as well as to the workplace. So, let’s go!
我是宣教的成果，通过中华基督教内地会(Overseas Missionary Fellowship)的事奉得救。我的属灵父亲，他是一位爱尔兰人；给予我人生中第一本圣经。他也在多年后主持我在牛津举办的婚礼。我不确定是不是因为他每星期四持之以恒的祷告塑造了我的属灵成长，但有件事我是可以肯定的：如果当初我没有遇见那群宣教士，那么我就不会成为一名信徒，而Skyline今天也不会存在。
Philip Lyn 医生牧师