It is rare for people to quit the military, but that is what Larry Brown did after five years of being a Naval officer. He entered Bible school after becoming a Christian and would later travel to Africa, India and the Philippines as a missionary. We interviewed Brown in 2009 and talked with him about his first mission trip and how his ministry helps set people free from human trafficking.
Brown recounts how he decided to go on his first trip to Africa.
“After five years in the Navy, I went to Bible school. In 1994, five years after I graduated from Bible school, I went on my first mission trip. In November of 1993, God had said, ‘I want you to go on a mission trip.’ I said, ‘Alright Lord, what about this Navajo mission trip, it’s only $300?’ He said, ‘No, that’s not it.’ I said, ‘What about South America, that’s only $800?’ He said no again. I said, ‘What about these other ones with lesser fees?’ He said, ‘No, I want you to go to Sierra Leone, which was $2000, the most expensive one. I said, ‘Lord, I don’t have that kind of money.’ He said, ‘Write a letter.’ I didn’t have a computer or a typewriter. I was walking to work and the first person I saw on campus said, ‘Hey I just got a new computer; if you ever want anything typed, let me know.’ The Lord not only inspired me to write the letter, but who to send it to, Christian and non-Christian, my old track coach, even my dad. When I went on that mission trip, I was like, ‘This is it!’ I loved it.”
“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Brown shares about helping set people free from human trafficking.
“My youngest daughter was in Thailand this summer. She’s eighteen years old and has wanted to do a mission trip since she was in middle school. She worked in an orphanage in Thailand, kids who were refugees from a typhoon and kids whose parents were dead, kids rescued from prostitution, that kind of thing. She tells the story of one mother and father who had a lot of children. They lived in a rural area and were closed off from newspapers and television, with no idea of what goes on in Bangkok. They couldn’t afford to feed all their children, and a businessman approached them and said, ‘Sell me your daughter, she will sell flowers for me and I’ll send money home to you.’ They thought it was a good deal; instead of their daughter starving to death at seven, eight, nine years old, she could work, but she ended up being a prostitute. They put these kids in cages that are a foot and a half high and not much longer, until they break their spirit and give into prostitution. The director, who knew that the child would end up a prostitute, asked this woman how much the man had offered to pay for her daughter. She said, ‘Eighteen dollars.’ She said, ‘What if I give you twenty-five?’ ‘Oh, you can have her,’ the woman said. She’s in an orphanage now, in a safe house, being trained up in the things of God. There are so many needy children.”
Be willing to go. Whether it is an outreach event in your hometown or a mission trip to a foreign country be willing to go where God is directing you. Pray and listen to the direction of the Holy Spirit. It may not be where you initially want to go or feel “called” to go, but trust that God has a reason for directing you there. Sometimes, we don’t understand the reason until later. There are people everywhere that need to hear about the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. Often we think that missions are limited to only going overseas to tell people about Jesus. But the reality is that there are just as many people in the US that need to hear about him than there are abroad.
Trust God to provide. It is easy to limit our decision making on what we see, the finances in the bank and the resources that are right in front of us. But God wants us to not only trust Him to provide, but he wants to get others involved in partnering with us to reach others for Him. From finances to materials you need for the trip and prayer partners be willing to ask others to be a part of what God is doing as he directs you to others.
Pray. Pray for pastors, ministry leaders, and missionaries that are reaching people who don’t know Christ personally. Pray that God would provide for their needs. Pray for their protection if they are sharing in a country where there is religious persecution. Pray that the Holy Spirit would soften their hearts so that they would be open to a relationship with Jesus Christ.
To read our entire interview with Larry Brown, click here.