Challenges of Being A Missionary

?The Lord said to Abram, ?Leave your country, your people and your father?s household, and go to the land I will show you? (Genesis 12:1).
Donna Mitchell, in her book ?Among the People of the Sun,? recalls the day her family left the United States for mission work in Southern Rhodesia, Africa. She recalls the tears of friends and family at the airport. Then she adds:
?Once a friend remarked, ?I could never go to another land, because our family is very close.? I wanted to cry out, ?Our family is very close too!??
I have just read of a missionary whose father in the States suffers from inoperable cancer. I think of the grandchildren, and what they have sacrificed. Our missionaries give up a great deal in order to bring the lost to Christ.
In many countries they forfeit the civil rights we take for granted in America. They usually take a loss in quality of life because third-world countries lack the material and technological advancements of America. They are paid a fragment of the salaries of preachers back home. I remember missionaries talking about missing the little things ? Snicker?s Bars or watching the Rose Bowl on New Year?s day.
It?s easier to send the Gospel message over short-wave radio, or by mail. It?s easier to go to the mission field for short, intense campaigns. But mark this: there is no substitute for a missionary committing years of service to the Lord on a mission field.
You cannot calculate the value of learning the language, the culture, setting a living example of Christianity, and gaining the trust of the local people.
God had only one son, and he was a missionary.
At budget time most churches receive many slick pamphlets and presentations from many church organizations. Let me put in a plug for the humble, long-term missionary. I know what I will be suggesting to the leadership in my congregation. Will you consider this, too, please? Back a man and a family who has made a long-term commitment to serving God on the mission field. When all is said and done, evangelism is still about one man teaching on man about the Savior!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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