“There is too little desire to know what is the actual state of mission work in India, and a regard to the showy and attractive rather than to the solid and practical.”
Excerpt From: “Things as They Are” By Amy Charmichael (Missionary to India, late 1800 early 1900).
Working in ministry for 25 years and full-time missions for over a decade, I have often identified with Amy’s statement. And more than once, I have been discouraged by the casual comments of the masses. “How many salvations have you seen this year?”, “You only have “x” number of boys live at the boy’s home?”, “Oh, look at all the staff you have and the many buildings. It’s obvious that you don’t have any financial needs.”, “We don’t want to help with a operational expenses, we would rather give something that goes DIRECTLY to the boys.”
Mission work is so much more than numbers: boy’s serviced & salvations. It’s more than rescuing abused and abandoned boys. It’s even more that verbally preaching the gospel. It is LIVING the gospel while completing the mundane chores of the day. It’s securing visas, renewing passports, paying the electricity bill and making sure that there is enough staff to watch the boys, feed the boys, drive the boys to school, mow the lawn, paint the buildings, answer the telephone, complete government paperwork…… the list goes on. It’s carving out enough time for my family so that my girls grow up knowing that they are just as important to me (and God) as the boys at the orphanage. It’s spending time with my husband so that our marriage remains strong and Christ can be witnessed by others in the way we interact with one another. It’s working with lawyers, securing building permits, hosting teams, scrubbing floors and picking up visitors from the airport. It being gentle and kind to those who hurt and offend you & being gracious when listening to those who (never working with orphans) think they know all the answers. And…..It’s raising enough money to keep the whole thing going.
No, most of what we do is not showy and attractive. Instead I could describe it as routine and often mundane or like Amy mentioned, it is rather solid and practical. And although rarely I stand behind a pulpit and preach a message, I assure you that working and doing, and living the gospel, can be a powerful message which far outreaches the walls of the sanctuary. And you don’t have to be a pastor nor a missionary to preach that sermon!