Near and Far: Sharing the Gospel in New Places

praying hands

My heart beat wildly as I felt the plane wheels hit the runway on that late October night. After almost a day of traveling, I was anxious to get off the plane and hit the ground running in South Asia again.

I wondered many times if I’d ever get to return to this area after my first summer there, and by God’s provision, I was there again. I whispered a prayer of thanksgiving to God and stepped off the plane into what has been one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding seasons of my life.

Before coming to South Asia a second time, I never thought I’d attempt to learn a new language and culture in order to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I never thought of myself as someone who’d go up to a student I didn’t know on a college campus and share the gospel.

I was fortunate to grow up learning about other religions and the cross-cultural workers who gave their lives to share the gospel with people who followed other gods. But never did I think that I would get to be a cross-cultural worker like the ones I learned about.

Sometimes we can be critical of those who go to far-off places to share the gospel but aren’t doing the same thing with their neighbors and friends at home. I’ve been guilty of being one of those people.

But going to a far-off place has been what it’s taken for me to see the need to share the gospel near and far. It’s allowed me to labor alongside people who are serious about sharing the gospel in a way South Asians will understand.

In Romans 15:23–24, Paul wrote to the church in that area that he hoped to see them as he traveled to Spain because there was no place left for work in the regions he’d been in. After 3 of his own missions trips, he had fulfilled his purpose. The gospel was multiplying and it was time for Paul to move on to a new place.

Like Paul, we must be open to going to new places so the gospel can multiply. When you see for yourself the need for the gospel in a new place—whether near or far—and the part you can play, I guarantee you will never be the same.

Emily Todd* is a cross-cultural worker serving the people of South Asia.

*Name changed.

Back to Top