Saturday, October 13, 2012
Quote of the Day: "The spirit of Christ is the spirit of missions. The nearer we get to Him, the more intensely missionary we become." — Henry Martyn
I've been reading a history of the mission movement and discovered that we, Karen, John, and I, are not at all in the mold of twenty-first or twentieth century missionaries but more in the mode of those of the nineteenth century when missionaries were sent for life. Our main difference from those nineteenth century missionaries is that they were supported by their sending denomination or mission society while we are mainly self-supporting while receiving help from several individual churches of more than one denomination. Other than that though, our feelings about our mission and our purpose here are very close to those of missionaries of two hundred years ago. We came here to stay for life, to improve education (particularly for girls), to improve health, and to provide training for the local evangelists and pastors. Unlike all of our contemporaries here, we do not rotate home for six months to a year every two or three years (paid for by the supporting denomination or mission society), nor are we waiting for retirement to return to our home country. We fell in love with these people when we first visited and cast our lot among them. We are beloved by those we serve (according to them, anyway) and have had a profound effect on the people here (according to the chief physician of our geographic area). This is not why we came but it is nice to know. We are here because we were called to be here and no one more so than our son, John, who came for a one week visit and has been here for over six years now and who intends to become a Tanzanian citizen in another two years. We knew some missionaries whom we loved that were here for more than twenty years, but they have gone back to retirement in America. We do miss them because their hearts were in tune with ours. We hope they are as happy there as we are here. We are where God wants us to be, and there is much joy in that.