Sunday, 17 October 2010

28:19 or 21:17

Dare I admit it?
I've always found the Great Commission in Matthew's Gospel difficult!
And I've grown up finding missionary service difficult!
There - it's out in the open!

The first is because I prefer Jesus' commission in John's Gospel as it is more fitting with my personality and the second is because I knew several sons and daughters of missionaries who were literally shipped home to England to go to boarding school - I didn't think it was right!

But over the years I have softened in my outlook, especially now knowing several friends who work for the BMS and hearing more about the work of those abroad.

This weekend, four small Baptist chapels have had a visit from their 'link missionary'. For those who have no idea what this is.....
Some churches have folk who were part of their membership who have been called into missionary work but for other churches with no missionary of their own, they are given a link missionary.

Our four chapels, two on the border in England and two on the border in Wales share Judy. Yesterday, we gathered in England to worship, hear about her work, have tea and eat Thai food from a local restaurant and share communion.
And this morning we gathered in Wales to worship, hear about her work, pray for her as she returns to Thailand at the end of the month and get to know her a little better over coffee and cakes.

Judy used to be a children's nurse and was happy in her work but felt a call to missionary service. Having been sent to Thailand to undertake looking after those with AIDS and HIV, she started fostering a little girl and then found she was fostering a boy and then another girl until she is now running a Thai government approved foster home with six full time staff, several of whom came from very difficult backgrounds and in need of a fresh start in life.

I found it very reassuring that in my life too, God called me to one thing and it was only as time went by that I realised that it was so I could be in the right place to do something else.

I am excited about the work Judy is doing and how she is open to God, knowing that she doesn't know what will happen next but fully trusts God, knowing that God will provide.
And I feel that I have made a new friend! and for that I thank God


  1. Bit of a belated comment, apologies. A while back as part of a sermon I held these two readings tension, sensing a 'both/and' of them. Some shepherds do go out searching for lost sheep, some stay close to the fold tending and feeding. Both is right. Neither is superior. We are called to be the kind of shepherds/misisonaries we are made to be.

    Well, that's what I think!

  2. My struggle has been with some missionaries who appear to take the 'Corban' approach - and because they are so certain of their own 'calling', they do not always seem to appreciate the impact it may have on their children [shipped home for schooling - often feeling isolated] or their elderly parents who have nobody else around when they need support.
    But it is all too easy to see another's splinter, and ignore the plank affecting one's own eyesight, so I shall shut up!
    blessings xx