By Bill MacLeod, Executive Director
You may remember 26-year-old missionary, John Chau who went to take the gospel to the people of North Sentinel Island but was killed by them in his effort to do so November 2018. His life epitomizes the theme for our Mission ConneXion Northwest January event: “Here I am…What’s Next?”
You may not know that John was sent out by the missionary organization, All Nations International whose vision it is to see Jesus worshipped by ALL peoples of the earth. Dr. Mary Ho is their International Executive Leader, and we are honored to welcome her as a plenary speaker this January 20-21, 2023.
We recently caught up with Mary to ask her about her own life experience with Jesus, and her preparation to join us…
MC: What were the circumstances that led you to make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ…when you initially said: “Here I am Lord!”??
MH: I was a 17-year college student from overseas suffering from depression, darkness, and years of severe bulimia that no doctors could help. One day, I heard someone challenge us to pray five minutes daily. My heart leapt. I knew that was what I wanted: to pray daily. I didn’t know then but what my heart longed for was a daily relationship with Jesus. A week later I asked Jesus to be my Lord. That very day, He sovereignly set me free from bulimia without me asking Him to. I tasted a love I’ve never experienced before. And over the next two years, He set me free from depression.
When it came to ministry, especially the work you are now in, what were the circumstances that led you to say: “Here I am…what’s next Lord?”
After I started following Jesus, it was a lifestyle of “Yes” to each season in different seasons. I said “Yes” when Jesus called me to work in the marketplace. I said “Yes” when He asked me work in an NGO. Then I said “Yes” when He asked me to be a fulltime mom. I said “Yes” when He asked me to move to Asia. I said “Yes” when He asked us to leave it all behind and move to Kansas City. Then I said “Yes” when He asked me to be on the board of All Nations, an international mission organization and to volunteer in small ways. It did not seem like a big “Yes.” But my small “Yes” changed the trajectory of my life. My small “Yes” threw open the doors of mission. Since then, it has been a daily (albeit often very reluctantly), “Here I am . . . what’s next, Lord?”
What challenges / opportunities are you seeing from your global ministry perspective for those who may be sensing God calling them into missions?
This is the best time in missions for ordinary people, not the stereotypical mission types. Where we are in the Great Commission is that the easy places are taken. The hard places remain. The remaining unreached peoples are mostly in high persecution areas which pose great challenges and require equipping and grit. These are also the places that provide opportunities for ordinary people with various skill to go in legitimately as businesspeople and working professionals. So, whether you are a stylist, an engineer, a teacher, a construction worker, or a nurse, God is calling ordinary people with various skills to partner with our extraordinary God in finishing the remaining task. He is calling each one of us to be a mobilizer, a sender, a carer, a welcomer, intercessor, or a goer! Each of us are to be on mission with our Missionary God.
What would you like people attending MCNW 2023 to come away with, especially in light of the emphasis you will bring regarding our “Here I am…What’s Next?” Theme?
Each of us are to be on mission with our Missionary God. He wants more than a personal relationship with Him. Instead, He invites each one of His loved ones to be on mission with Him. When we show up for a daily quiet time, we are not only saying “Here I am” to His presence. Instead, we are saying “Here I am to being on mission with Him. The humbling thing is we can’t say “Here I am . . . What’s next?” out of our of our zeal and enthusiasm. God’s urgent query, “whom will I send?” can only be heard rapt in worship, as Isaiah did. Samuel’s “here I am” was an unquestioned response of attentive listening. Abraham’s “Here I am” was a response of radical obedience. Each of us must live a life of obedient worship! “Here I am” is the loving response that only a worshiper can make. It is out of the overflow of worship that we proclaim, “Here I am . . . What’s next, Lord?”
We look forward to welcoming Dr. Mary Ho this January, and I look forward to introducing her to you!