Visiting missionaries in the field

Last weekend something Mando Velasquez said registered in a new way with me. Mando and his family are serving as missionaries in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. He said:

"We miss you. Sometimes we get lonely. It doesn't mean we don't want to be there. It's just that God has called us somewhere else."

I always knew that missionaries gave up a lot to serve in the way they do. And I understand that they miss the comforts of America. But somehow Mando's quote got through to me in a unique way.

They like it here, but they were called there.

Going there was an act of obedience. Staying there is surrender. Enduring the pangs of loneliness is ongoing sacrifice. I am not saying that missionaries dislike where they are; only that their separation from the places and the people of their former home is a very real sacrifice.

This puts into a new perspective what it means for us to visit missionaries in the field. It is not so much that we are bringing them nostalgic reminders of the home they left behind. (That said, nostalgic reminders are often appreciated!) It is that we are visiting the lonely. We become like cups of living water, refreshing those who are parched by month after month of sacrificial service. When we come as the incarnational presence of Christ, we become the gift of God to them. "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint" (Jer 31:25).

For many of you, this might be received with a "Duh". But there was something about Mando's comment that resonated with me in a unique way. Maybe it is God preparing me for being in Haiti next week.

Comments

  1. "It's just that God has called us somewhere else."

    Going there was an act of obedience. Staying there is surrender. Enduring the pangs of loneliness is ongoing sacrifice.

    I went online this morning to look for someone's reply... but found this statement of Mando and then your thoughts on it.
    Both were like a precious sermon, compacted to the central thought. Lovely way to start the day...
    Lynda Daltorio

    ReplyDelete

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