Travel Light

Read: Luke 10:4, Acts 13:3-5

Carry no moneybag, no knapsack . . . (v. 4)

On my first mission experience in Uganda, I packed a digital camera but forgot the charging cord. I wasted an entire day canvassing small shops for a replacement. My host eventually asked, “Are you here to take pictures or to share the gospel?” Whether God’s mission is in your own neighborhood, two weeks in Africa, or a lifelong move far away, it’s easy to obsess about resources and packing lists.

Whenever I read Jesus’ instruction to carry neither moneybag nor knapsack (v. 4), I am convicted of my cord search and of the way so much of our mission activity contradicts the simplicity of the early church and pioneering missionaries of the 19th century. When Paul and Barnabas went from Antioch in Acts 13, they were simply prayed for and sent out. They evidently had no idea what they would eat or where they would stay. They even worked to not rely on others (2 Thess. 3:8).

On a different trip, I stood next to the graves of sisters Amy and Nellie Zwemer in Bahrain. The girls were born in the late 1890s to Samuel and Amy Zwemer, among the first modern missionaries to Arabian people. They died months apart in 1904 from dysentery. I cannot imagine the sorrow their parents endured. Yet, on their headstones are etched the words, “Worthy is the Lamb to receive his riches.” Traveling light isn’t only about money and suitcases. May we find the glory of the gospel so compelling that we trust Jesus every step of the journey.

As you pray, ask for simple trust.

About the Author

jon opgenorth

Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Sent: Preparing for Mission Trips