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Luke 9

And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere. Luke 9:6

In the first verses of chapter 9 we see our Commander sending out his 12 troops (aka disciples) on a Mission. He gives them the objective and order to “proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal.” (vs. 2) He equips them for their call of duty by giving them “authority over all demons and to cure diseases”. (vs 1). He instructs them to travel light so that they can move in and out of locations with ease and not be burdened with extra supplies. We get report back that their mission was successfully executed in verse 6 – And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.

Let me ask you, what was the main objective in this mission they were assigned? It is mentioned twice both in verse 2 and 6. Yes, they had the power to heal and cure diseases but what is listed first in both verses? To proclaim the Kingdom of Heaven and Preach the Gospel. God is concerned about our taking care of our physical ailments but more importantly our spiritual sickness – sin.

When we began SOF Missions in 2010 we started a primarily a short-term missions organization that brought doctors, dentists, nurses and construction teams to remote villages on this globe. Yes we went out  to help them physically but that was not our main objective. Our primary goal was and has always been …to bring them the Gospel. We just like the disciples, use our gifts and resources as a tool to gain trust and access to the hearts of the people we minister to. The crowds flock to see the “Americans” and get a toothbrush and vitamins but long after we leave the impact of hearing the gospel will continue to resonant in their ears and grow within their hearts. We have heard reports back of villages that heard the gospel message through SOF Missions work and have come to know Christ even after we have returned back to US soil. One chief I am reminded of listened day after day as we would share the gospel message in the villages up and down the Amazon River while the patients would wait to see the doctors. We were told later he confessed he had accepted Christ and because of his influence, to this day allows Christians missionaries to come to the Amazon and facilitates their needs in sharing the message of Jesus up and down the remotest parts of the river. It is truly amazing what God can do with a toothbrush and some vitamins but more importantly with an obedient soldier’s heart. (Isaiah 6:8)