Mission is messy. Sooner or later everyone who begins a new mission discovers that this is true. This also describes the way Professor Shan Ik Moon came to be a Missionary to America. Professor Moon, one of the original staff that began Concordia University in Irvine, Ca., never could have imagined where the Lord would lead him, or even that there was a "Lord." Born in 1936, Moon grew up in the savage morass that was Korea in WW II and the Korean war. His father dead, his mother lost, at fifteen he was homeless, scratching for food in garbage dumps. Several times he was near death, from starvation, and from soldiers on both sides of the war(s). Not a Christian, with little knowledge of Jesus, he was pulled from the "mess" by an American Army chaplain. From there the Lord led this young Korean with scant English skills to a Christian college in the US, then to seminary, then to Washington University. As an ordained pastor he served as a professor, sharing his joy and his surprise, sharing his faith in Christ, with thousands of young women and men. It was a messy journey.
Mission is messy. When we begin a new mission or ministry the first phase is joy, excitement, "We are actually doing it!" The next phase is fear when things get messy. The wrong area is picked to begin; the ones we thought we could depend on turn out to be not so capable, or wise, or hard working. We say the wrong things, pick the wrong leaders, run out of money, and yet - He still uses us. Mission is messy because we are sinful, broken beings. We learn what Zerubbabel was told, " 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty."
We aren’t alone. The manger was messy. The cross was messy. Jesus entered that mess and died to take the consequences for our short sightedness, for our stupid mistakes, for our weakness in staying with it, trusting only in Him. Now redeemed, He tells us to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” He asks us to be in the mess so that more people can know Him.
Mission Nation Publishing began by printing books and sharing stories of immigrants who endured hardship and danger to become missionaries to America. These stories are building empathy and cultural intelligence in our churches. As we look ahead, we are leaning into more opportunities, more partnerships, and more challenges. We are excited to walk alongside churches as they engage, embrace, and extend the love of Christ to their diverse neighbors. Mission is messy, and we are ready.