12 May, 2013

What is a typical missionary?

Two main answers that people might think, come quickly to mind:

  • they are evangelists and start churches
    Living as one "called' encompasses all of
    life, even and including the mundane,
    the extraordinary, the fun, and the drudgery.
  • they live in poor countries and do relief work
But most Christians I know, if they dig a little deeper, will be able to come up with many more answers than this.

In reality what a typical missionary is or does, is almost as varied as what a typical Christian is. That's what this blog is about, really, that we're just ordinary people. Ordinary people who've been called to live a little bit on the edge of the ordinary.

This weekend I've been reminded by a sermon and by a book, that we are all called, all called to live our ordinary lives with an eternal, called-perspective. All of us who are Christians are called, though much of that calling is worked out in what looks very much like ordinary living. Yet God uses us ordinary folk as we just go about living our ordinary lives.

I've been reminded recently that God has gifted each one of us and we're to seek to serve him with the gifts in the realm he puts us into.

For my husband, that is as a father, a husband, a teacher, and a mentor etc.
For me, that is as a wife, a mum, a writer, an editor, a friend, a language learner, etc.

For another of my friends in Japan, that is as a movie producer! Yes, believe it or not, a missionary can produce movies. Not just lovely Christian movies rated G, either. He is currently producing a movie he hopes will make it into mainstream Japanese theatres and will probably be rated R. It is about hope in the midst of organised crime (Japanese mafia or yakuza). See the testimonies here and here of the former yakuza men the movie will be based on.

Today I went to a pre-production promotional lunch. They are seeking support to fund this two-hour feature movie. I sat at the same table as a former yakuza, now passionate Christian man. His story is dramatic and inspirational. The sort of testimony we love to parade out demonstrating God's power.

Earlier this week I heard another testimony. One that lacked drama, but majored on faithfulness. One that lacked violence and horror, but overflowed with the loveliness of God and godliness.

Now, just because the first testimony is better movie-fodder than the second one, doesn't make it more valuable.

Just because I've been called to serve in Japan, and live a more dramatically different life doesn't make my life more valuable than a Christian who's been called to remain in their country of birth.

So, the point of this rambling is? We're all called, and that looks different for each person. None are more or less valuable. Let's celebrate our great God who isn't fazed by our frailty, our disabilities, our fallibility. And let's follow him with all that we have and all that we are.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Amen. You're just witnessing as we all are, except you're crossing a culture to do it. I know you've mentioned how frustrating it can be when Christians see missionaries as kind of 'super Christians' who they could never be. A great post that serves a reminder that God uses anyone.