By Terri Clark
World Missions Assistant Director
I recently checked off the very top “must do” item on my bucket list—Visit Israel. What an amazing journey through the land I’ve read about in the Bible for over forty years! Familiar names and places came to life.
Before actually traveling through the Holy Land, I imagined Israel to be so much bigger. In fact, I was taken back by how short the distance was from place to place, where the stories I’d read about took place. Well, something in particular struck me as we drove along the shores of the Sea of Galilee.
Traveling along the water’s edge, our guide, (a Messianic Jew), explained that we were on the Gentile side of the lake. I had no idea there is a Jewish side and a Gentile side of the lake. Pointing across the lake, we could see the Jewish side, where Jesus did a lot of His ministry. “For instance,” our guide explained, “we are driving right now where the demons came out of the demoniac into the swine. These are the steep embankments where the pigs ran down into the lake and drowned.” He said they knew this was the place, because of the nearby tombs the demoniac came out of, they don’t raise unclean animals like pigs in the Jewish communities, and these were the only cliffs that go into the Sea—across the lake from the Jewish side. You can read the story in Mark 5 and Matthew 8.
What does this have to do with “missions” and this WMF “missions letter”? Well, I have to ask why Jesus crossed over to “the Gentile side” of the lake. I believe Jesus saw this as a training opportunity for the disciples, knowing he would be sending them to preach the Gospel and make disciples in all the nations. The Gospel of Mark tells us that the man who was delivered of the legion of demons went back to “his people” and shared the good news in the Decapolis, a region of 10 roman cities. Mark tells how these “Gentile” people were amazed at the work of Jesus.
Jesus is still asking us, (His disciples), to get into our boats and cross over to the other side of the lake and share the good news of the Gospel, heal and deliver people from Satan’s hold in Jesus’ Name. Yes, there will always be plenty of ministry for us to do at home, but I believe God is still asking us to push out from our comfortable communities and cross over to the other side of the lake. We are, after all, World Ministry Fellowship—a fellowship of ministries in the world.
There are roughly 200 nations in the world, and our fellowship has full time and short-term missionaries serving on nearly every continent. Today, the distance between nations grows smaller and smaller every day. We just need to get into the boat with Jesus and cross over. Many of our WMF missionaries would love for you to consider joining them in their work. Opportunities to preach the Gospel or be Jesus’s hands and feet in the nations are always open. But, even if you are unable to travel across the lake yourself, you can still get into the boat and “cross over” by supporting WMF Missions. Our missionaries around the world need your prayers, financial support and encouragement. Contact WMF for opportunities to get into the boat and impact the world for good in Jesus’ Name.