Identifying with believers in poor countries means sharing their concerns and hardships. Missions is a striving to understand a people and culture, but always involves a sacrifice of emotions. To pray over a young pastor's wife still tormented and bound by evil spirits, to listen to widows left with nothing after the death of their husbands, to see our teenagers accepting to sell their bodies for a pair of sandals, and to cry beside a shattered believer whose wife and newborn child have just died, is part of making God's people's lot our own. Missions cannot be done without that sharing of the hurts and pains. The Apostle Paul explains this in 1 Thessalonians 2 when he says, "we were willing to share with you, not only the Gospel of God, but our own selves." This is missions, a sharing of your own emotional energy as you make the poor's lot your own.
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