Saturday, October 1, 2011

Why I'm a Missionary

I've been thinking a lot about what it means to be a missionary, because I don't really feel like one. All I'm doing right now is working at the school, teaching English, Math, and Music to 3-5 year olds, and going to do ministry (more teaching and occasionally handing out donations) at Los Bordos with Dona Elsa and Lindsay. Essentially, I am doing what Lindsay is doing.

When that thought first occurred to me, I was disappointed and a little frustrated at the lack of "real" ministry I'm doing. But then I got to thinking, and I realized I'm not a missionary by the usual definition. I'm not a missionary because I live in Honduras; there are 7.5 million people living in this country. I'm not a missionary because God sent me here; God has placed every person exactly where they are right now. I'm not a missionary because I have a purpose in my life; God has given a purpose to each and every person. I'm not a missionary because I serve and follow God; every Christian ought to be doing the same thing.

The reason I am a missionary is because I am showing God's love to each and every person I meet. I am pouring love onto my students at school, even when they won't stay in their seats. I am displaying how much he cares when I hug the grubby little boy at Los Bordos who always tried to get me to lift him off the ground and who once threw dirt at me. I am a missionary because I am exactly where God wants me to be, and I am serving Him in the exact way that He wants me to serve Him. I am a missionary because I am going out and loving people the way God loves them to the best of my abilities.

When it comes down to it, that makes us all missionaries. God sent you to your place of work to be a light to the people around you. There's no one else He wanted in that position, because you have unique gifts and talents that you can use to reach out to the people around you. You are a missionary because you are showing God's love to the people in your family, and to your friends.

The Great Commission is simple: "Go out into the world, and make disciples of all nations." We're all in a nation somewhere, and that's where we're supposed to be making disciples out of men, women, and children.

I'm realizing now how insignificant I am. Who am I? Not some amazing gift to the Hondurans sent by God to lead them to the path of righteousness. No. I'm just one person serving Him to the best of my abilities, and it's Him working in me that will get things accomplished. It was only through Him that I was able to realize I was handling my class the wrong way. On Friday, I didn't even have to draw the sad face to imply that someone's name was going to have to go there. Even at the end of the day, they quietly read books or did puzzles when they finished their work. That wasn't me. That was God. All I did was listen. That's what love is: putting words into action. And love for us means taking the words that God gives us and putting them into actions.


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