Somewhere between saintliness and foolishness we find a curious
creature called a missionary. Missionaries come in assorted sizes,
weights, and colors, but all are sent by one Lord who commanded His
people to evangelize.
Missionaries are found everywhere; going to, lifting up, launching
out, coming from, staying with, bringing around, bearing with, and
standing for. Christians love them, governments tolerate them,
parents pity them, pagans ignore them, and Christ protects them.
A missionary is truth with a broken jeep axle in his hand, beauty
with a sick child in his arms, wisdom with a Bible in its pocket, and
hope with Christ in its heart.
A missionary has the patience of a fisherman, the audacity of a
tightrope walker, and the carefulness of a bookkeeper, the vision of
a dreamer, the strength of a builder, the intelligence of a teacher,
the wit of a humorist, the irresponsibility of a child, and when he
attempts something, he is all prayer.
He likes letters from home, children, preaching, mission recruits,
returning from furloughs, faith promise rallies, tracts, printing
presses, radio stations, translators, mission boxes, airplanes,
villages, Bible studies, cities, correspondence courses, and book
stores. He is not much for high pressure promotion, red tape,
devaluation of the dollar, lukewarm faith, hypocrisy, and
Nobody else is so quick to care, and so slow to give up. Nobody else
gets so much fun out of crocodiles, boiled rice, elephants, pet
cobras, earthquakes, visas, monsoons, droughts, and conversations.
A missionary is an unusual creature: you can send him to a far
country, but you had better not forget him. You can get him out of
your hair, but you had better not get him out of your heart. He is
your servant, your right hand, your dependent. A Bible-preaching, God-
fearing, God-serving, self-sharing bundle of love. When you come to
church with that smug feeling that you are a super Christian, he can
shatter it with simple words, "Come over and help us."
That, my friend, is what a missionary truly is...