Missionary, Shmissionary

The World Race challenged us this month to post a blog with “missionary” in the title…so here’s mine!

Missionary, shmissionary. What do you think of when you hear of the word “missionary?”

Perhaps you remember the countless times you have opened your door to meet two men dressed in suits. Maybe you think of the television commercials seeking funds for the orphaned children in Africa, or a friend who traveled to a faraway country to help with some sort of relief effort.

All these things can be associated with missionaries, but in reality, you don’t have to wear anything special or go anywhere in particular to be a missionary.The word “missionary” simply means someone who is engaged in a mission.

As Christians, we are not defined by the title of “missionary” but rather our mission. Our mission is simple: Jesus defines it as loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and loving your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37). Essentially, it is a mission to love the person in front of us – and indeed, the bible says that the world should know that we are Christians by our love (John 13:34).

Sounds simple, right? But practically, what does this look like?

Being a missionary means standing in front of hundreds of African teenagers to deliver God’s word and encourage them in their relationship with Jesus:

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But it’s not always as straightforward as that. When you are a missionary, “ministry” can happen at any moment, even in the middle of African rainstorms:

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…or at the top of mountains. Always listen to the Holy Spirit and seek God about how you can encourage the people that He puts in your path:

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Being a missionary also means that you will hold a lot of babies. It’s important that you remember to smile, even if they pee on you:

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Being a missionary means taking time every day to seek God, even when the conditions don’t seem right:

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It means caring for people that society has rejected:

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and hanging out with people, even if they don’t look like you, just because:

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Take time to listen to them speak from their heart, because everyone has a story that is worth telling:

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Being a missionary means learning to decipher languages you don’t know:

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smiling when you eat strange food, such as pig fat (Ukraine’s national dish):

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and doing what you can to learn from the local people and culture. Remember that just because you’ve done something a certain way for your entire life doesn’t mean that it’s always the best way:

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When you are a missionary, you will have to learn how to sleep anywhere, even behind pool tables in the Dublin Airport:

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and don’t be surprised if you find yourself in some inconvenient situations…

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Above all else, being a missionary means sacrificing for friends you love:

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and continually humbling yourself to serve others and lift them up:

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You’ll find that when we are weak, then He truly is strong:

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Missionary, shmissionary. So what does a missionary do?

Being a missionary is a call to love, to serve, to die, and therefore to live. Be ready to have your world turned upside-down. Jesus is going to rock you, but there is absolutely nothing like the life He has for you.

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