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100 International Mission Trips

Copyright Andrew J. Shreeve 2014

 

This month saw the successful completion of Andrew's 100th international mission trip since the year 2000! An international mission trip is defined as: entering a foreign country for the purpose of preaching the gospel, including pulpit preaching.

 

It has taken 14 years of continual work and focus to reach this milestone! Andrew has travelled continually these past 12 years, and like the ministries of Jesus and the Apostle Paul, without a fixed residence.

 

And a certain scribe came, and said unto Him, Master, I will follow thee whither thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not where to lay His head

Matthew 8:19-20

 

I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools for Christ sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised. Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; and labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it: being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day

1 Corinthians 4:9-13

 

It has been very challenging to stay on the road these past 12 years, with no certain dwelling place, but the Lord has been faithful to provide all things. 80% of the ministry has been in developing countries whose infrastructure and standard of living is generally well below where I have come from in Australia. I have subsequently travelled along some very bumpy roads, in some very poor vehicles, and slept in many not so flash places. A hot shower, or hot bath, has often been seen as a luxury.

 

I have had devils attack me, people betray me, battled exhaustion with associated fever and sickness on many occasions - but I have never cancelled a confirmed meeting to preach the gospel. Financially, I have been fully tested whether I would really trust in the Lord's promises of provision (Genesis 22:1, 12, Deuteronomy 8:2). As I followed the direction of the Holy Spirit to do mission after mission my financial savings went continually down from $25,000 to, at one point, my last $100. Without telling anybody about my financial pressure or making appeals for money, I continued to meditate the Lord's promises, and suddenly the tide turned and money came to me from unexpected sources. In all these years I have never run out of money, been financially unable to go on a mission trip, or suffered financial embarrassment.

 

In addition, I have had the supreme privilege to minster into the lives of God's precious children, preaching more than 1,250 times internationally and distributing more than 10,000 of my scriptural meditation books. Many people have been born again, baptised with the Holy Spirit, had devils cast out of them, received healing, and have been encouraged, edified and enlightened through the preaching and teaching ministry. It has been wonderful to also visit many beautiful natural locations, experiencing exotic and diverse locations and cultures, and fellowship with many, beautiful, Godly people in many nations. The scriptural meditation books have helped to lift the faith shield of the body of Christ, thwarting the attacks of the enemy and, empowering the Lord's body with the fulfilment of the Lord's covenant promises.

 

These 100 missions have been conducted in the Pacific islands, and the four continents of Asia, Europe, Africa and America. Countries and number of missions include: Cambodia (2), England (6), Indonesia (11), Malaysia (including West Malaysia ( 8) and Sarawak (5)), Malawi (1), Myanmar (Burma) (8), Nigeria (1), Papua New Guinea (11), Singapore (10), South Africa (5), Spain (2), Thailand (16), Uganda (2), USA (1), Vietnam (2), Zambia (4), Zimbabwe (2) and 2 undisclosed countries (3).

 

I would like to thank everybody who has contributed towards these 100 mission trips over the past 14 years. There would be literally thousands of people who have contributed through their finances, assistance, hospitality, prayers and encouragement. This success must be heralded as a joint, corporate success! Without the help and support of so many it would not have been possible. You know who you are who have faithfully and selflessly helped me on the way, so please share this moment of success with us all!

 

What also amazes me is that the Lord would use an imperfect vessel, like me. When the Lord called me to this ministry in 1999, by His Holy Spirit, I felt I was not ready: but the Lord said "I was ready." Many times I suggested to the Lord that I give up or stop, but He has always said "keep going." So I have to thank the Lord for his faith and belief in me. The Lord has shown me by His example of believing in me, what it truly means to love - to believe all things (1 Corinthians 13:7)!

 

Lessons Learnt on the Mission Field

When we are thrown into the deep end of the swimming pool we need to quickly learn to swim, or we will sink and drown. So, particularly in the early years, I needed to quickly learn the art of spiritual warfare or bow out of the spiritual battle. Study the teachings in my Partner Letters over the past 11 years (accessible from andrewshreeve.org) for deeper teaching on how to fight spiritually. However, in summary some of the key lessons I have learnt are:

 

  • Meditate God's promises day and night (Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2-3, Romans 12:2, John 15:4, Philippians 4:8, Philemon 1:6, 2 Peter 1:2-4). Without the faith which comes from cultivating God's promises / seeds in our heart through meditation, we do not have strong enough faith to step out to do the work of God (Romans 10:17). Scriptural meditation of God's promises develops a mental discipline to predominately only think on good things (Philippians 4:8).
  • Be thankful for the small things. Developing a habit and attitude of thanksgiving is vital. There are always many things to complain about and it is easy to succumb to the temptation to wallow in self pity. I have learnt that when I catch myself thinking negatively to immediately give thanks for ten things. This could include being thankful for the basics of life, like: having a roof over my head, clothes on my body, food to eat, a bed to sleep on, money in my pocket, good health, friends around me, a safe environment, opportunities to preach the gospel, and having the Lord in my heart. I have found after giving thanks for ten things I usually forget about what I was complaining about before (Ephesians 5:20).
  • Only follow the lead of the Holy Spirit. Do not do more, or less, than instructed by the leading of the anointing of the Holy Spirit (Acts 16:6-10, Romans 8:14, 16, 1 John 2:27). I have needed to continually pray in unknown tongues, to edify my spirit, to be able discern the leading of God's Holy Spirit, by His anointing (1 Corinthians 14:2, 4, Ephesians 6:18).
  • Learn to rely and trust in the Lord and not men. Men are often fickle and untrustworthy. Those who are in positions of leadership, who should be leading and encouraging the development of gifts within the body, are sometimes self absorbed and do not have the interests of the kingdom as their first priority (Philippians 2:20-21). If we rely on these men we may never achieve our full potential and bring maximum benefit to the kingdom. The Lord, however, is always consistent, loving and faithful. The Lord will lead us His way, and we will never be disappointed or let us down as we trust in the Lord (Jeremiah 17:5-8).
  • Prayerfully consider expenditure. Our first priority is to have enough money to get to where we have to go to preach the gospel, not to have the latest technology or stay in the best hotel. Prioritize expenditure on essentials to complete the mission. Expenditure on items not essential for basic completion of the mission should be subject to authorization by the Holy Spirit.
  • Keep focused on the mission. The first priority is the success of the mission. All other activities, not directly related to the success of the mission (like sight seeing, shopping, or socializing), should be prayerfully analysed and decided upon so as not to negatively impact on the mission.
  • Respect and come under the authority of the local church. Do not cause disharmony and damage by thinking you, the missionary, are the "big shot" and the local church is to serve you. Respect the leadership of the local church and work with them with a submissive and patient attitude. The missionary is to have a servant heart and respect the authority of the local church and help them, not try and Lord it over them (1 Peter 5:2-3, 2 Corinthians 4:5).
  • Be prepared to suffer physically, and take on spiritual challenges, for the gospel sake. Paul the apostle said: we suffer all things lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:12), and I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need (Philippians 4:12), and I endure all things for the elect's sake (2 Timothy 2:10). To really love people we need to come into their environment. To reach the poor and sick we need to enter environments which are poor, dirty, polluted, and often devil infested. There is a spiritual risk, and physical suffering, that we should be prepared to undertake in our mission to bring the fullness of the good news to the people of this world.
  • Pace yourself. Travelling ministry is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to look after our body, soul and spirit. Preaching is like playing football - we need recovery time to heal from the exertion of our spirit, soul and body. Otherwise we may suffer an injury. We need to make time for rest, relaxation, exercise, personal meditation and study, and communication. A balanced healthy diet is also extremely important.
  • Learn to walk in love. Ministry is largely relational and there are often many opportunities to think people may not be treating you correctly, or as you would expect them to. At these times it is helpful to think in terms of love… to believe the best in others rather than the worst. Often there is a good reason why something has happened, or it is just the imperfection of the other person. Love does not judge and get offended but is rather patient and long suffering. Learning to walk in love at all times is the bond of perfectness (Colossians 3:14, 1 Corinthians 12:31, 13:4-8).

 

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Andrew Shreeve Ministries is led by the Holy Spirit, committed to the integrity of the Word of God, walking by faith and focused on preaching the gospel to all nations...

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