>((Why did I put, in title, (Overseas) Mission Field? Simply because I serve as a (home) missionary. I am so tired of people saying “Why should so many hear twice when so many have never heard?” – the implication being that missionaries are desperately needed (overseas) rather than stateside. Oh, really? When more than half of all professing “Christians” in evangelical churches in this country believe there are other ways to heaven than by Jesus? When the majority of 20-30 something “evangelicals” in this country think homosexuality is okay and church is negotiable? Please…I applaud and honor (and support!) those who are called overseas, but don’t you dare tell me we don’t need gospel-focused missionaries in this increasingly godless nation we call the US of A))
But the following contains significant insights from an “insignificant” (in some eyes) missionary (this from KEVIN DEYOUNG)
Katie Middlestead is a cool girl. She used to work at our church. For the past several years she has been serving as one of our missionaries with Food for the Hungry in the Philippines. She will finish her work there in the next month and return to Michigan. I’ve enjoyed her newsletters and really appreciated these two paragraphs from her last newsletter where she reflects on her time overseas. I share them here with her permission.
I didn’t change the world. I didn’t start a revival. I didn’t eradicate poverty. I didn’t cure whole villages of malaria. I didn’t open a school or hospital. I didn’t single handedly share the gospel with an entire temple of Buddhist monks and have them all become believers in Jesus Christ. I didn’t translate the Bible into an obscure language. I didn’t get thrown into jail for my faith and then have an entire nation repent due to my witness. I didn’t bring a physically poor community into self-sufficient prosperity. I didn’t find every single street child a home with a loving family. I did strive to build relationships. I did walk alongside people as they struggled to live each day. I did value and love those that I worked with and those that I worked for. I did have part of my heart forever planted here. I did constantly learn and grasped that the more you know about a people, the more you understand that you haven’t even begun to figure it out. I did share about Jesus Christ to people who had never heard. I did change from wanting to help “the poor” to acknowledging that we are all poor in one way or another and that we are all walking together. I did allow God to strip away idols and distractions from my life (which is a scary process by the way) to reveal my true heart. I did know more fully that God’s grace is truly sufficient.
Wise words, Katie. God asks for faithfulness, humility, and love. The rest of the work is up to him.