WHAT IS A MISSIONARY?
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 the 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 their hand, beauty with a sick child in their arms, wisdom with a Bible in their pocket, and hope with Christ in their heart.
A missionary has the patience of a fisherman, the audacity of a tightrope walker, 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 furlough, 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 discrimination.
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-off country, but you had better not forget him. You can get him out of your hair, but you can’t 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 pretty super Christian, he can shatter it with the simple words, “Come on over and help us.”