I recently attended a mission conference where I met people from Central America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Some of these missionaries were North Americans called to fields of service in other countries, and some were homegrown missionaries serving among their own people. As I heard each of them tell their stories, I thought to myself, “They are all incredible, true GIANTS!” These missionaries were tall, well-built, brilliant, and beautiful in every way. They were magnetic, outgoing, quick-witted, and fluent in at least nine languages.
In reality, though some of these missionaries were a few of those things in varying degrees, they all seemed to be "real people." Some were a little goofy, while others were more reserved. Some were not very gregarious or even skilled communicators. They almost seemed like... people... not exceptionally gifted people, just people.
Missionaries are people,
just like you and me.
Don’t Get Me Wrong
For the record, I have the utmost respect and admiration for all servants of God. They are precious and wonderful, my heroes, but I have learned and continue to learn about missionaries. I have been around them for the last 18 years and know some in a personal way, even as friends. I have eaten their food, slept on the ground with them, laughed, prayed, and seen them in ministry and in life. I have even known some missionaries before they were missionaries, back when they were just "real people."
The COMMON DENOMINATOR
I am learning more and more that missionaries aren’t ten feet tall and bullet-proof. They aren’t necessarily brave or brilliant, exceptionally gifted or theologically profound.
The only common denominator
I see is a willingness to go.
They are willing to go to Africa, Europe, or simply to the other side of town. They are willing to go to the homeless, prisons, or to the children. God uses them around the corner and around the world, even the ones that are a little goofy, and He does so not because of their exceptional giftedness or super spirituality, but because each of them is willing to be used by God. The Bible says, “It is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord” (Zech. 4:6).
Are you willing to go?
Staring out at the poor remnants of a terrorist attack, John and his team set to work to provide relief. They never could have imagined how God would use their efforts to change the lives of four men.
Kelly Phillips is a History Maker and a full-time staff member with Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) in California. In this podcast, Kelly explains the role of mission support and its critical place of partnership in extending the Gospel.
Sometimes people think missionaries are a special breed — strong, mighty, beautiful, and well-educated. The truth is, most are just normal, everyday people with a willingness to go. Are you willing to be used by God?
The deeper and broader we look, the more we can see the hand of God moving over the earth in power and authority. How do you see God at work in the world?
Lying amidst a splattering of corn, beans, and rotting cabbage, wrapped in a smudged blue towel, was a baby boy. That’s when Andrew told me to call Anne.
After a short-term mission trip to India, Peter questioned who would tell those who haven't heard the Gospel in India. God's answer to him was simple... "You will."
Billions of people are waiting to hear the Gospel, but, "If you don’t know, then you don’t know that you don’t know." Will you tell those who don't even realize they need the Good News of Christ?
As an 18 year old, Timothy was determined to change his nation for Christ. But when it seemed he had failed, the God who never fails came through in ways he never imagined.
Studies have shown that countries with a missionary presence are making more changes for the better than those without... But perhaps our impact is deeper than we could ever imagine.
Making a difference for God isn't always easy, but it is simple, and it begins on your knees...
Dennis Downing has been serving the Lord in Recife, Brazil for 30 years. In this episode, Dennis talks about his call to ministry and what life looks like in the slums of Brazil.