A Missionary Blessing from Isaiah 49

By: Scott Armstrong

During the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been so proud of our ministry coordinators. In Global Missions Mesoamerica, we seek to discover, develop, and deploy missionaries, and that usually entails a whole lot of mobilizing through missions trips, cross-cultural ministry opportunities, etc. How does any of that happen when borders are closed and travel is restricted?

One answer has been to use technology to equip those who are sensing a call to missions. In 2020 we graduated 86 students from nine countries through our School of Leadership virtual courses. This year that number has more than doubled as our nations have run with the vision and planning of all that training. In the last few weeks, I have attended several more online graduations and congratulated dozens more students who have worked hard and are ready to take the next step in missions. At the end of my remarks to the graduating classes, I have asked them to hold their hands out and receive the benediction. This is a blessing I have adapted for them from Isaiah 49:1-6, and I think it is powerful for anyone who is passionate about transforming the world. Here it is:

Graduates, before you were born the Lord called you;
    from your mother’s womb he has spoken your name.

He made your mouths like a sharpened sword,
    in the shadow of his hand he hid you;
he made you into a polished arrow
    and concealed you in his quiver.

He said to you, “You are my servant,
    in whom I will display my splendor.”

And now the Lord says—
    he who formed you in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
    and gather Israel to himself,
you are honored in the eyes of the Lord
    and God has been your strength—

He says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
    to restore the tribes of Jacob
    and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I have also made you a light for the Gentiles,
    that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”

Now GO as that light. Amen.

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