Inner Mongolia.3“Can you go to China for a couple of weeks? You’ll leave in four weeks.”

That’s how my Monday morning conversation started with the manager of the Bible study publishing area I served in. I didn’t even have a passport, but within the month, I had a passport, a visa, and a packed suitcase.

My first trip out of the country was obviously eye-opening, but it instilled in me a principle that has stayed with me. I learned to think missionally.

While in China …

… I didn’t buy a house and settle into it.

… I didn’t spend my time shopping and buying a lot of things.

… I didn’t sit sequestered in my hotel room with a stack of books or the TV remote.

I had a task—a mission—and because of that …

Woman beggar… I was eager to learn the culture.

… I saw the people around me differently.

… I wanted to spend time with the people I encountered.

… I found myself truly caring for the people.

That’s a mission mindset. And I was convicted that I should have the same mindset in my suburban neighborhood as I had in China. Opportunities to shine the light of Christ and share the gospel are in China—and they’re on my own street.

I encourage you to go on a mission trip to other parts of the world. But the world is coming to us, so join me in also seeing the opportunities to impact the world right where we are.

Philip was a respected leader in the Jerusalem church. We don’t know if Philip ever visited Ethiopia, but Ethiopia visited him. In Acts 8, he encountered an Ethiopian man and shared the gospel of Christ with him. The man became a Christ-follower and took the gospel back to Ethiopia with him.

Philip saw an opportunity to be on mission right where he was. And we can do the same.

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (1 Pet. 3:15).

CaptureThis Screen-Shot-2013-06-24-at-1.41.38-PM (1)post supports the study “Seize the Day” in Bible Studies for Life.

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