I went to Central Asia to do ministry because I wanted to be able to tell people I went to Central Asia to do ministry.
If I had to give a percentage regarding my motivation, I’d say 60% wanting to name-drop a former Soviet country in conversation, 20% wanting to travel and 20% actually wanting to share the gospel with people who had never met a Christian.
God used that summer to totally change my life. In just 5 weeks, I fell in love with God in a new way, and learned more about myself than ever. Even with my less than stellar motivation for being there, God was able to use the situation to kindle in me a life-long passion for making his name great. The passion for making my own name great is still there, don’t get me wrong. But that summer (and the one before it where I had about a 90% “going to meet my wife” motivation for a summer trip to Panama City Beach, Florida…) was the beginning of a passion for something other than me.
There’s a persuasive (and pervasive) lie out there that says in order to follow a call to ministry there has to be nothing appealing about it. You can’t be a faithful Christian missionary in a Scandinavian country, because there’s a strong chance you would live there and like it even if you were a pagan.
If you are waiting for the perfect selfless motivation to share your faith, go into ministry, or even just read your Bible, you’ll never do it.
Don’t believe the lie.