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January 17, 2014

The Comfort Zone

By John Scully

Brrrrr. It’s cold.

Sub-zero temperatures.

Icy roads. Slippery sidewalks. Cars sliding.

Earmuffs, gloves, scarfs, boots.

Frostbite.

The polar vortex dipped into the northern US in early January.

We complain:

“It’s too cold to go outside.”

“Ugh, I’ve got to scrape my windshield.”

“The house is n-n-n-not w-w-w-warm enough.”

“Oh no, my water pipes froze.”

“I cannot get anything done.”

We’re just not cut out for this arctic weather.

Very few people live in the extreme areas like northern Alaska, the far reaches of the Yukon, in Greenland, Iceland, or in the upper areas of Norway, Sweden, and Finland, or at Cape Horn and the Falkland Islands at the southern tip of South America. We don’t hear much about missionary work in those areas.

Who wants to go out and meet people when the path is not shoveled and folks are hidden in their small, cozy dwellings, waiting till the snow clears before they may even open their doors.

If you have kept up with the Christian Aid blog, you may recall one mission effort sending gospel workers into the upper regions of Siberia where the temperatures hover at -55 degrees!

I shiver just to think of it. But praise God for native missionaries who live in those frigid weather zones who go out whatever the temperature.

It’s a good thing only a very small percentage of humanity inhabit those icy places.

On the other hand I’d say that most unreached people live in warm to hot climates.

Imagine living in hot places.

We would complain.

“Oh this heat is oppressive.”

“I can’t take this unbearable humidity.”

“What, no air conditioning?”

“The smells really bother me.”

“I can’t get anything done under these conditions.”

And then there are cyclones, typhoons, and floods which often result in contaminated water, diarrhea, cholera, and respiratory infections.

It’s not so hot living in hot places.

Who wants to go there to do missionary work?

Well, thousands of missionaries, citizens already living in hot countries are well acclimated, and they go out to evangelize, whatever the temperature, whatever climate. Christian Aid assists hundreds of indigenous ministries in the Philippines, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, parts of Africa and Latin America, in all those hot, hot, hot places.

The things that bother me are commonplace for them. They are in their comfort zone. And they are getting the work done.

God bless them.

And, God, grant me the opportunities to be a light for you in my town, in my comfort zone.

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