I recently returned from a mission trip to Brazil. It was my first time to South America and I enjoyed learning the different culture, food and customs of the people in the northeast part of that great country. Yet for all the differences from other countries I have traveled to, I found a common factor – unsung heroes.

It was my honor to spend four days with a group of missionaries who are involved in church planting and radio ministry. My first impression was that this was a happy bunch of workers. Yes the challenges are great, the work demanding, the spiritual warfare strenuous, but they were persevering. Their ministries may go long periods of time without tangible results. The weather is very hot, but the response to the gospel is often cold. It takes a special grace to persevere when there seems little to show for one’s efforts. Yet they have taken their stand at their places of assignment. Faithfully they share Christ as they seek to build His kingdom. It’s not glamorous work but it’s important work. It’s not easy work. But daily as they live the character of Christ before their neighbors a beachhead for the gospel is being established. We anticipate a greater harvest to come but right now most of the work is planting seeds. It’s the work of unsung heroes.

Much of the gospel’s strength is found in such workers. All over the world in remote and accessible places unsung heroes take their stand for Christ. They serve in quiet towns in Northern Alberta, the remote villages of Uganda, the squalor of impoverished settlements of Africa or the distant villages of South America. Having been touched by the love of our Savior Jesus, these unsung heroes share his love with others and serve to move God’s kingdom forward. They have said yes to his call and have put their life on the line to obey. This is not work that draws great adulation or medal ceremonies with adoring crowds, for the most part their efforts are largely unnoticed.

Much of the gospel work is carried forward by unsung heroes. It has always been that way. Many references are made to such people by the Apostle Paul in his writings. “Onesiphorus…often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.” (2 Tim. 1:16) “Epaphrus…He is always wrestling in prayer for you.” (Col. 4:12) “Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord…I am sending him to you…” (Ephesians 6:21,22)

These unsung heroes never wrote a book of the Bible or headlined big ministries but were essential in the Kingdom’s advance. This is still the case today.

Each time I travel, it’s an opportunity to be humbled by the loving dedication of those who carry the gospel to difficult places. It is inspiring to me to see that the gospel still is going out to those who don’t yet know Christ and it is being carried by those who simply serve with loving obedience.

So if you are an unsung hero, serving in a remote area or unrecognized ministry I salute you for your faithful love for Christ and I assure you that one day you will hear him say, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord.”