Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Burdened

James and Ellie Carr
Hello again, everyone. Ellie has given me (James) permission to write another post for our blog. We all know that she is a much better writer than I, and I promise she will be back again next time. I currently have this huge burden on my heart that I would like to share with all of you. I would say this burden started sometime ago but did not really come to a head until about 2 weeks ago, after I attended a conference here in Guatemala. The conference topic was “Reaching the World in Such a Time As This.” Naturally, as many of you may have guessed, this conference was about missions and spreading the knowledge of God’s perfect promise to those who do not yet know Him. One evening, after listening to our guest speaker, I was confronted with numerous questions about spreading the good news. Questions like… “Where is the mission field? Are there really people in the world who have not heard of Jesus, God, or the Holy Spirit? And if so, how can that be in such a time as this? What type of a person does God use to spread the good news?”

These questions, along with many others begged for answers that I did not quite know yet.  After attending the rest of the conference, and spending some time reading my Bible and praying, I believe I have found some answers, and I would like to share them with you.

I want to start by letting each of you know this is not an attempt to single anyone out, nor to put myself higher than another. I just want to share with you- our supporters, family, and friends- what has been burning inside me for some time. My other desire is that reading this will encourage you to do something. So please stick with me, and remember, I am here for any of your questions or feedback concerning what I am about to say. I truly mean all of this in love because I want to see the very best for you here and for eternity. 

This conference was comprised of interdenominational Christians from all over Guatemala and the U.S.  So, in trying to maintain the authenticity, I am primarily writing to those of you whom associate with Christianity. We read the Bible and take it as God's inspired word, and the Bible tells us that we are all charged with the responsibility and the opportunity as stated in Matthew 28:19, “Therefore go forth and make disciples of all nations…”

James and several of the boys he disciples in the Derek Program

For starters, I feel it is safe to say that God is the basis for everything. He is the Creator of all, the Father, and the One who is everywhere, all the time. Knowing this, all of the answers that I am sharing with you are based on Him and your personal relationship with Him. What I am trying to  say is if you are a Christian, and do not have a growing relationship with Him, then chances are your relationship is dying. How long can a relationship flourish without communication or the investment of time? So I encourage you to get back into a pursuit of Him if you have cooled off in your pursuit or to continue and not give up in chasing Him.

Now that we have the basis covered, let’s take a look at the questions that have been with me for a while. The first one is, “Where is the mission field?” Is it in Guatemala? America? Asia? The answer is yes, yes, and yes. The mission field is everywhere anyone can use the gift of Jesus Christ but has not yet accepted it. This might be your neighbor, family member, or even the young boy who is growing up in the streets in a town in Africa. The next question is, “Are there really people in the world who have not heard of Jesus?” This answer is “yes.”  There are approximately 2 billion people in this world who have no idea that there is a Jesus to believe in and there are many more who don't know enough about His gift to us or how to accept it. The other half of this question is, “How so in such a time as this?” The answer is because no one has attempted or successfully brought the good news to these people.

The last question that I would like to address is “What type of  person does God use to spread the good news?”  Answering this question is a little more complicated, but in short, the answer is “YOU.”  As stated before, every believer is responsible for spreading the news of who our Savior is. We all have a part to play in this. I’d like to dig a little deeper for those who may feel that their past may in disqualify them from this responsibility. By reading the Bible we find how God used ordinary men to become His disciples, and He did not stop there; we can also find how He used a murderer, a thief, a prostitute, and many more imperfect people for His glory.

This being said, I don't feel that everyone needs to pack up and move away to some foreign nation or quit their job and spend all day walking around the mall looking for people who don't know about the precious gift that has been offered to all.  This is where the basics of your personal relationship with your Lord and Savior come back into play. If you are close to Him and know His voice, He will guide you. As a side note, while Ellie and I were preparing to move to Guatemala we heard many stories about how people “could not do what we are doing,” or how they “could not leave because of [fill in the blank].”  Then, when I would ask a few of those people to explain why they felt that way, I could see the discomfort start to build up within them. Many times, after speaking to people who had gotten uncomfortable, I would wonder if the discomfort was possibly a feeling of denying the small but still voice that was saying, “Go.”  Action may not necessarily mean being the feet on the ground, or fighting on the front line, but action may be making it possible to assist the ones who do. This could mean deliberately and prayerfully supporting, in any way possible, including financially, those who are going into, or are already in, the field serving.  Some may go, and others may be "senders."

Romans 10:14-15 says, "How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?  And how are they to believe in him of whom they have not heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching?  And how are they to preach unless they are sent?  As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'"



I realize that many of you are already serving or supporting missions. We want to you to know that by doing so you are encouraging us and other missionaries, and we are grateful for your example and obedience. We all, including Ellie and I, have this responsibility to be available and to be in the best location to serve our God, and the only way we can ever figure out where that might be is by turning to Him and asking. If you made it this far, thank you for staying with me. I love each one of you and I want the best for you now and for eternity, and that can only be achieved through obedience in Christ.  I hope that this will provoke you to consider your involvement, or perhaps your complacency, in fulfilling God's commandment to share the Gospel.

Thank you for allowing me to share this burden with you.  Please, feel free to contact us with your comments - good or bad - or questions. Ellie will be back next time, so please, check back soon. 

We sincerely thank you for the love and support each of you bring to our lives and to our work here in Guatemala.

-The Carrs

Photo Credit- Blume Photography


Isaiah 6:8
"And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"  Then I said, "Here I am!  Send me."

James and Ellie Carr / Author & Editor

James and Ellie Carr have been missionaries in Gautemala since 2014 and write to share their feelings and how they have experienced God's goodness and mercy on the mission field.

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