But the people of [Iconium] were divided in their opinion about [Paul and Barnabas and their message]. Some sided with the Jews, and some with the apostles.
Then a mob of Gentiles and Jews, along with their leaders, decided to attack and stone them. When the apostles learned of it, they fled to the region of Lycaonia — to the towns of Lystra and Derbe and the surrounding area. And there they preached the Good News.
— Acts 14:4-7 NLT
Fierce and violent adversaries forced the mission team — Paul and Barnabas — to flee Iconium. Sharing Jesus in cross-cultural contexts was not only challenging, but also dangerous. When Paul and Barnabas left the thriving church in Antioch,* I'm sure they knew they were heading out on a perilous adventure for Jesus. They gave up so much — their homes, cultures, friends, and spiritual family — to go and risk everything to share Jesus in different places and with unknown people. As I think of their hardships, I cannot help but think of missionaries today who have done something very similar. Let's remember to pray for missionaries and their work today and find a way to bless them. Many of them have given up a great deal and risked everything to share Jesus. Let's thank and praise them for their work!