I remember every summer playing a game in our swimming pool called “Marco Polo.” You probably remember the game, too. One person closes their eyes and yells, “Marco.” Everyone else has to respond, “Polo.” If they caught someone (touched them), then that person was “it.” They had to be the one searching. All I knew was that Marco Polo was a famous explorer.
It appears his father was a traveler, too. National Geographic (May 2001) reported that Marco’s dad and uncle traveled to Mongolia (part of modern-day China) in 1260 (I did not realize the game “Marco Polo” may go back that far). The men met with their emperor (Kublai Khan), who expressed an interest in Christianity. The emperor sent a letter back with them to the Pope requesting as many as 100 wise men to spread the Gospel among his subjects.
It took the brothers three years to get back home. Two years later, they set out to return to Mongolia. They did not have 100 missionaries with them. The “Church” felt it could only spare two men, and even those two turned back shortly into their journey.
I wonder what would have happened to China if “we,” as the Church, would have gone to Mongolia in the 1200s?
What opportunities are we missing or even ignoring today?
Jesus is speaking in Matthew 9:37-38 where we read, “Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’”
All of us are “called” and challenged to share the Gospel. It may be overseas, at a large church event, or in the prisons, but it is also in our daily walk with whomever Jesus places around us.