October 4, 2013
Am I a Missionary?
by John Scully
Am I engaged in spreading the gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth?
Certainly not as we traditionally define a missionary--that is, someone who must leave the security and comfort of an American lifestyle and--GO!-- to live among a strange people in a strange land.
Instead of going to the field, I sit behind a desk at Christian Aid most of the day with a computer, fingers bouncing around on a keyboard, hands maneuvering the mouse, eyes flitting across the screen, all the while wielding the tools of my trade -- designing, layout, writing, editing, planning, scheduling, working with my colleagues, and yet completely and thankfully happy to serve overseas ministries in this way.
I’ve never been to India, China, southeast Asia, or Africa… in those hard places where poverty is commonplace--in the crush of people traveling through a crowded, run-down city avenue where the smells of dirty water and sewer waft through the air. Or just as repulsive, where persecution strikes suddenly, like a snake lashing out its venom when its slithering body is disturbed by an approaching, innocent hiker on a walking trail in the woods.
No, I have not been there. But I have heard many details about those difficulties and hardships.
Occasionally overseas indigenous leaders visit us here in Charlottesville.
I hear their stories.
I’m amazed by their struggles and their steadfast commitment.
I’m blessed by their victories.
But you know what? When they come here they tell us that they could not do the things they do without our help.
They really mean it.
With our help many of their missionaries are able to work as a team. For example, to conduct an open air evangelistic meeting, one carries the loudspeaker, others go out into the village and invite people to the meeting. Still others play instruments to attract a crowd. There is an evangelist. And men and women are present to counsel those who show interest.
They are a team. They are all missionaries.
Bob Finley, founder of Christian Aid, used to tell the staff at Christian Aid that we are missionaries too.
A missionary is one who is engaged in propagating the faith.
My friends and I at Christian Aid are telling the story of indigenous missions across our country through Prayerline, Christian Mission magazine, brochures, letters, emails, the website, social media, and speaking engagements, all with the goal of finding the resources to help our brothers and sisters overseas, who then take the next step to preach the gospel among those who have not heard it.
We serve them. We partner with them.
We are on their team.
We are missionaries.