I’ve always found it refreshingly odd when I meet someone new for the first time. I see them at their current age and looks, knowing nothing about their past. I find it refreshing to connect with them and hear their story and yet their age and looks are unique to that day. I have no idea what they looked like in the past.
This morning I passed a middle-aged delivery man in the hallway, greeted him, and thought, “this guy looked differently five years ago. Who he is today is a puzzle of past experiential pieces of life that have come together to form who he is today.” Or something like that :-)
It got me thinking about missionaries. I love to meet missionaries for the first time and discover what they do and where they do it. You can learn a lot about a person who lives in a different culture and has given up his or her comforts to proclaim the gospel. Refreshing.
I also know a lot of people who have been missionaries for years, decades. I have followed them, walked in their shoes, visited them on their respective fields. Seeing them again is like seeing an old friend. “How did that situation turn out? What is God doing in you and through you these days?”
Walking with a missionary over a long period of time gives you an inside track on what God is doing around the world. You not only see a people and perhaps a nation be transformed, but you get to see the missionary being conformed to the image of God’s son, right before your very eyes.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified;those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30, NIV)
Consider walking with a missionary throughout his or her lifetime of service. But also make it a priority to meet new missionaries. You’ll receive a double adventure blessing of both the seasoned traveler who is becoming more like his Lord and the fresh snapshot of the committed sister whose appearance is that of a fragrant offering.