“missionary activity renews the Church, revitalizes faith and Christian identity, and offers fresh enthusiasm and new incentive. faith is strengthened when it is given to others!”
– Redemptoris Missio (introduction)
at the beginning of my first mission year i felt so weird about calling myself a missionary. i didn’t feel like one. i didn’t feel like i had some divine calling to make disciples of all the nations. i wasn’t even sure i knew what a disciple was and tiger, georgia didn’t exactly seem like ‘the nations.’ i have to admit that for a long time i was embarrassed to tell people i was a missionary because i didn’t feel like i lived up to what that meant. i had never read acts or even most of the gospel before, how could i go and tell people about Jesus? did i even know who he was?
i can’t explain the feeling i had in my heart 4 1/2 years ago when in a small hotel room packed with 20 tired college students i said “i think i’m supposed to be a missionary.” or the feeling i had my senior year when i realized a career in film wasn’t for me. or the feeling i had when i told my mom i wanted to join Life Teen Missions and calmed her by saying “don’t worry, it’s in the US.”
but what i can describe is the faith that was in my heart, the sense of knowing that my life was no longer in my control but in God’s and no matter what he asked me to do i just had to do it and that it would be good.
so i packed my life into a few suitcases and flew to georgia, not knowing what to expect and now 3 years later i’m still trying to figure out what happened.
i’m a missionary, now without a mission (at least not a well branded one that gave me credit and not to mention all the t-shirts). i’m a missionary simply trying to live out the truth that faith is strengthened when it is given to others. so here you go, take my faith. it is for you to know that God is real. to know that He is wonderfully in love with you. to know that He has already forgiven you. to know that the break in your heart you feel for the hurt of some random stranger or the incredible love that you have for whatever it is you do is from Him. my faith has showed me that God is the best writer there is and he wants to make your story incredible. but don’t just take my word from it, take His:
“for i know well the plans i have in mind for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for woe, to give you a future with hope” – Jeremiah 29:11, NAB
to give you a future with hope.