We’re not “Missionaries”

I was talking to our oldest, Anna, the other day about college scholarships (what else).  I mentioned that Taylor University might have some scholarship money for MK’s – Missionary Kids.

She looked at me funny and said “So….”  I think I replied with “Huh?”  And then she said “What.” And so on…
I told her it could be free money for her. She had no idea what I was talking about.  “Why me,” she asked, “we aren’t missionaries.”

I acknowledged that technically speaking it is a little harder sell to convince the financial world we’re officially missionaries now that we’ve been in America for nearly five years, but we were when we lived in Lebanon for sure.

I could tell she was so confused. Remember, this is our very bright 18 year old daughter who wants to be an international journalist.

I asked her what she thought we were doing while in Lebanon. Her answer was as shocking as it was insightful. “We were just living in Lebanon as regular people loving others in Jesus’ name. All our friends were Lebanese. “Missionaries” don’t do that. They don’t hang out with the local people as much as we did. They do projects.”

Wow.  I’m not sure she’s totally right, but it was her perspective.  We were just “living with our Lebanese friends and loving people.”  May it have been so.

Without knowing it, she summarized the style of life we’ve adopted. It is a bit strange, I have to admit. When people ask me what I do, I often say “build friendships around the world.” Or I might say “try to follow Jesus and act like he acted – although not very well.”

Chris and I (and the kids) take the great commandment as seriously as we can – love God and love people. There is nothing more or better to do than that.

Friendships. Jesus.  Building real and lasting friendships around Christ is the most profound thing we can do.  Encouraging those friends to love other friends and simply fan the flames of God’s spirit as he brings people together.

This is what we do. In the Middle East. In Highlands Ranch.  Hopefully wherever we are. Is this being a “Missionary?”  Well, I hope it is for the sake of the college scholarship.

Comments

  1. The Guinns says:

    Great post. My wife and I are living in Northern Ireland and we always wonder how to explain why we’re here. I really like the way you put it, and I hope we can say the same as you after 20 years. 🙂 Did you have trouble communicating what you’re about to supporters and friends at home? Thanks again for your thoughts.

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