Willie Santiago, my friend and brother in Cuba, tells the story of a young missionary from the United States traveling to Cuba in the 1920s. It was under her ministry that Willie's grandmother came to know Christ as her Lord and Savior. Willie says if were not for that missionary from America, he would have never come to know Jesus from his parents who learned it from his grandmother, and he would not be in mission today with Christians from the United States. Eighty plus years ago, God was preparing the way, not only for the conversion of one woman in Cuba, but for the salvation of many in the succeeding generations, and the mission to this day that continues to spread.
How many Christians have unfortunately come to believe that their contributions to the purposes of God in this world are small and do not count. They think that unless they can convert the masses like Billy Graham, or open up an entire country to the Gospel, like Hudson Taylor did with China, or unless they do something to be written about in books and magazines, their contribution to God's kingdom is not important. I wonder if that young American missionary in Cuba realized the impact her mission would have on so many others, even to this day?
God has made all of us for mission in this world and there is no such thing as an insignificant contribution. We certainly need the Billy Grahams and the Hudson Taylors of the world; thank God for them. But in truth, God accomplishes most of his kingdom work through people like you and me; people who attend average to somewhat above average-sized churches with various ministries, and who give our time, talents, and resources to God's kingdom work in this community and in this world. And God takes our individual contributions and he puts them together into something that brings honor and glory to his name. When we belittle our contributions to God's work, we make light of the God who gives each one of us different gifts and graces that will allow us to accomplish his will in our lives.
Every follower of Jesus Christ is an ambassador here on earth. We represent Christ. We do not set policy; it is not our job to decide what Christ's purposes are here on earth. Our task is simply to articulate in word and deed that Jesus loves this world and has made its salvation possible. It is quite a privilege to be called by the President of the United States to be an ambassador. How much more of an honor to be called by the King of Kings to represent him here on this earth?
Our mission has eternal significance. The biblical writers always have their eyes on eternity. When the great cathedrals of Europe were built, the first workers knew that they would not be alive to see the church's completion. They were laying the foundation for something that would be finished after they were gone. Jesus says, "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where things decay, but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where nothing deteriorates." What we do in the present matters, not only for our eternity, but also for the eternity of others.