When our daughter, Debbie Jean, was six, she disappeared one day. We searched everywhere for her – the other houses nearby, the shopping center, the schoolyard. I remember walking up and down a little dirt road calling, “Debbie Jean,” and fearing the silence. Two hours later she showed up and told us she had gone with a friend to a candy store and then on to the friend’s house. After the thunder, lightning and tears had passed, I reflected: During those two hours that my little girl was missing, there were books that I had to read, letters that I had to answer, telephone calls I had to make, planning I had to do – but I could think of only one thing: My little girl was lost. I had only one prayer, and I prayed it a thousand times, “God help me to find her.” But how often, I asked myself, had I felt the same terrible urgency about men who are lost from God?
What led Jesus to weep over Jerusalem? Or Paul to cry, “Woe is me if I preach not the gospel?” Or John Knox to pray, “Give me Scotland or I die?” Or Henry Martyn to land in India saying “Here let me burn out for God?” Or George Whitefield to cross the Atlantic thirteen times in a small boat to preach in the American colonies? Or the aristocratic Lady Donnithorne of our own generation to go into the forbidden precincts of Hong Kong’s “walled city” to bring the healing of the gospel to the pimps and prostitutes? Or Jim Elliot and his friends to stain a river in Ecuador with their blood to reach and obscure Indian tribe?
They were gripped with a tremendous conviction that without Christ men really were lost in a deep and eternal way.
John Willis Zumwalt, Passion for the Heart of God, Page 172
quoting J. Oswald Sanders, How Lost Are the Heathen
We believe so strongly in proclamation that we tend to proclaim our message at a distance . . . We appear to be giving advice from the security of the shore to men who are drowning. We do not dive in to help them. We are frightened at the thought of getting wet, and besides, this implies many dangers. We forget that Jesus did not send His salvation from heaven,; He visited us in our humanity.
quoted in Passion for the Heart of God, page 153
The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of missions, and the nearer we get to Him the more intensely missionary we must become.
Henry Martyn, pioneer missionary to India and Persia
quoted in Passion for the Heart of God, page 125
The command has been to “go,” but we have stayed-in body, gifts, prayers and influence. He has asked us to be witnesses unto the uttermost part of the earth . . . but 99% of Christians have kept puttering around in the homeland.
Robert Savage, missionary to Ecuador
quoted in Passion for the Heart of God
In order to start recapturing the scattered, newly formed language groups of the world, God called Abram in Genesis 12 to mobility. The first word out of God’s mouth to Abram is “Go.” Check this out: He says it over 1600 times in the Bible. The Bible only says “stay” a couple hundred times, and most of the places you find “stay,” it is said by those who are trying to get God’s people not to obey. It is this way in Scripture, because God knows our nature. He knows that when it comes down to it, we are homebodies. We kind of like sticking together in Babel. We like to stay with our own kind, our father’s household, our people, our food, so God says “Go!”
John Willis Zumwalt, Passion for the Heart of God, page 56
Of course no one ever sings "Stay, tell it on the mountain" or "Let my people stay."