Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: First World Problem (04/17/14)
- TITLE: The Commission
By Lisa Johnson
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Paulo was almost finished packing when he was interrupted by a knock on his door.
"Oi! Gabriela, I was hoping to see you before I have to leave for the airport."
Gabriela gave her friend a big hug, then decided to go ahead and ask the question that had been driving her crazy, ever since Paulo had told her where he was going.
"Can you please tell me why you are going to America? So many other countries would make much more sense, you know."
Paulo laughed, "Mamae and papai asked the same question. What can I say, Gabriela, I am going where Sehnor Jesus has told me to go."
Gabriela shook her head in bewilderment.
"I would think that a country like America would be the last place in the world where God would call someone to be a missionary. Don't you think it sort of strange, Paulo?"
"Com certeza!" Paulo agreed. "At first I thought it very strange. After all, America has always been the country to send out missionaries to the rest of the world. Sadly, that is no longer the case. In 2010, America received the most missionaries than any other country in the world, and most of them were sent out by churches here, in Brazil."
"What happened to them, Paulo? I know Americans complain a lot about things that seem very trivial to me. It's not like they have any real problems. Not like some of the other countries that you could be going to."
Paulo shrugged. "Moral decay, the holocaust of their unborn, changing political direction, or any number of other things could be labeled the cause, Gabriela, but I believe I know what the real problem is."
Gabriela sat forward in her chair, listening intently. "Go ahead, I'm listening. . ."
"They have left their first love. America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles. They were blessed beyond measure, because they blessed God. Now, some would say that they have taken their blessings for granted. Affluence. Influence. Power. Prestige. America was once considered a beacon of His light, 'a shining city on a hill.' Now their lampstand is being extinguished."
"Que pena!" Gabriela whispered with tears in her eyes.
Paulo continued, passion rising in his voice.
"What makes it worse is this. . . America sent missionaries to countries that had never before been exposed to the Christian faith. Now, it seems, America has abandoned that faith. America has now declined so much. . . the very countries that were once evangelized by American missionaries are now sending missionaries there instead."
"So, meu amigo, what will you do in America?"
"I know what I will not do," Paulo exclaimed. "I will not tickle their ears with a watered down Gospel. There is no time to worry about offending someone. I will tell them that God is still God, and He is holy. He hates sin, but loves sinners enough that He allowed His Son to die for them. I will tell them that God is calling them to repentence. I will plead with them to accept God's gift of salvation, while there is still time. I will tell them there is hope for the healing of their land, but only if they return to their first love. This is what I believe Sehnor Jesus is calling me to do in America."
"Do you think they will listen?" Gabriela asked.
"I am but the messenger. It is Espirito Santo who draws men to the Savior. Pray for Sehnor Jesus to lead me to those who will listen, and pray for their hearts to be receptive to the Gospel," Paulo asked humbly.
"I will pray for you every day that you are in America," Gabriela promised faithfully, "even if it is the most unlikely mission field I could imagine."
"Muito obrigado," Paulo answered, giving his friend one last farewell hug. "It is a field that is white unto harvest."
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Translations (Portuguese to English) :
Mamae and Papai- Mom and Dad
Sehnor Jesus- Lord Jesus
Com certeza!- Of course!
Que pena!- What a pity!
Meu amigo- My friend
Espirito Santo- Holy Spirit
Muito obrigado- Thank you very much
I Corinthians 1:18
2 Chronicles 7:14
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