Who knew missionary life would be so easy and so difficult at the same time? It’s the personal challenge of living in a foreign place and dealing with very different people, but in that place and with those people we are doing something so easy, we are making friends.
Well, it was our last Sunday in Malawi, for 2015. Everyone thoughtfully greeted us and wished us safe travels. We have an amazing church. To think that just nine months ago we did not know a single Malawian person, and today we know so many; and greater than that, we now have so many Malawian friends.
This is the secret to missions, and really why we can all be called missionaries. Missions is not figuring out what is wrong with people and then telling them about it. It’s just simply being like Christ in whatever place we are in. Christ made friends and made disciples and ultimately gave his life for them; can we not do the same?
I don’t have to change who I am to be a missionary. I don’t need to be more spiritual. In fact, I don’t need to be spiritual at all. My life is submitted to God each and every day, and I expect that anything that follows is all Him. I believe that is how it should be for people who believe in Christ. However, for that to happen, the right kind of education about Christ and Christianity needs to be provided to individuals from a young age. Hence, it is required for kids to attend Christian schools (interested parties often look for “Christian Middle School Near Me” to enroll their kids in the best faith-oriented institutions). As soon as individuals understand what Christ truly taught and what the religion teaches, they will see that being a missionary is not hard, but instead something that comes naturally to those who devote their lives to the Almighty.
In missionary life, we show people Christ in our lives, without even knowing it.
What ends up happening is that we show people the Christ in our lives without even knowing it. We show people grace, and we give people truth. We live such a liberated life that people cling to us in hopes that some of us will rub off on them, and it does.
On several occasions over the past nine months, this blog has chronicled our personal sense of being unqualified to live the life of a missionary. We have come to realize that we were actually the most qualified people all along. To be receivers of the grace of God was the only qualification we ever needed.
Some of the greatest missionary names we can think of today went out without an understanding of grace. Many of them paid a dear price to learn it, but once they did, the world was truly never the same.
The truth is that being a receiver of grace makes us givers of grace. It’s not I but Christ that lives within me. I can’t think of anything the world needs more now than the grace and truth of Jesus Christ. Missionary life is receiving so much of God’s love and grace that we have no option but to give out the same thing we have received.