Missions Week Challenges Students to Share the Gospel
By Nicole J. Johnson
Submitted: April 2010
When Rob Legg (M.Div. student) and his wife, Jodie (audit student), got married in August 2009 they already sensed God calling them to missions. As students in the seminary’s Introduction to Missions course for the Winter 2010 semester, the Leggs were excited to learn more about missions opportunities during MTS–Michigan’s first annual Missions Week, held March 8-11. “It was a great service for MTS to provide for us…we need that daily reminder that we have a job to do… to go out and be fishers of men,” said Jodie.
MTS–Michigan students were encouraged to do just that during three Chapel presentations given by Warren Janzen, International Director for SEND. With headquarters in Farmington, Michigan, SEND International is an interdenominational faith mission agency with over 600 missionaries in more than 20 countries of Asia, Europe and North America. Janzen began the week by challenging students to ask the Lord where He would have them serve, emphasizing that “…only about 2.5 percent (of missionaries) are working among people with little or no access to the Gospel.” In his second session, Janzen spoke about the “new profile of the church planter,” someone who is bi-vocational, being trained in the Scriptures as well as in a secondary vocation, which can be useful to the community being reached. Janzen also stressed the importance of cultural sensitivity in the context of missions. “We need to have a culturally appropriate, compelling invitation to the gospel,” he said. Janzen closed the week by challenging MTS–Michigan students to confront their fears—of failure, rejection or danger—as it relates to evangelism and missions. “There are 1.9 billion people who have little or no access to the gospel and we’ve got to get to them,” said Janzen.
Rob and Jodie couldn’t agree more. The Leggs had planned to go on a short-term mission trip to Alaska this summer to work with a traveling Vacation Bible School, which moves from village to village ministering to families, many of which have not heard the gospel and have been plagued with violence and drug abuse. However, when funds were not available for this trip, God opened a door for ministry on Mackinac Island. As members at Woodside Bible Church (Troy), the Leggs connected with Ron Wilson, who serves as a deacon at Woodside and as an Advisory Board member for MTS–Michigan. Wilson also is the owner of Hotel Investment Services (H.I.S.), which operates two properties on Mackinac Island. Wilson recommended the couple for employment and lodging at these properties, and they were hired. Rob and Jodie will now have the opportunity to work with Mackinac Island Bible Church to evangelize during the island’s busiest tourism season (April through September).
Whether it is here in Michigan, or abroad, Rob and Jodie agree with Janzen that the need is great…and they are answering the call. “As much as we would love to go to a third world country, there’s a tremendous need right here in our own backyard, whether it’s here in Dearborn (with the largest population of Muslims outside the Middle East) or four hours north in Mackinac,” said Rob.
During Missions Week, MTS–Michigan students also had the opportunity to meet with personnel from SEND, who shared information and answered questions about opportunities in missions. SEND also collaborated with the seminary to provide dinner for the students before each Chapel service.