A recent stroll down the West End gave me a glimpse into the life of a modern missionary. Whilst walking, I heard a resounding voice echoing through the streets. It turned out to be the passionate voice of a Christian missionary preaching the gospel.
Whilst I won't attempt to quote the actual phrase she used, something caught my attention from the scene her presence created. In fact, the moment she mentioned the name 'JESUS' the atmosphere turned hostile. From getting bewildered glares, to people blatantly pointing in her direction, to resentful comments being made about her, she got the whole works. I mean if looks could kill, that missionary would not be standing!
As the scene unfolded before our eyes, my companion and I, observed the scene. The missionary explained she was from India. Meaning that she travelled all the way from India to preach the gospel to a lost world in the West. A world which used to have Christ as it's foundation, but is now so far removed from it's Christian roots that they resented her presence. Or the 'Christ' she came to represent.
Standing next to her was a man of alternative faith, who was also sharing his faith by approaching people on the streets. He didn't receive the same hostility they dished out to her, yet he mockingly shrugged her off, smiling mischievously at her. As if to say, he was winning but she was losing. It felt like watching a battlefield for the souls. The man proceeded with his task, by approaching people in the street and sharing his faith with them. Surprisingly, the faith he was professing was one of peace. But the actions he had displayed was one of discord.
Thing is, inspite of the hostility, the Missionary remained resolute in her deliverance of the gospel and I fully understand why. Because let's face it , all the negative reactions she experienced were nothing but distractions. Had she reacted to the hostility, the same people could have turned around and pointed an accusing finger at her for not being a genuine Christian. That's why it was a valuable waste of her time to respond. Her time was better spent winning souls for God's kingdom. Even when it looked like no one was listening, the point was that the gospel was being preached. And those who heard her preach the gospel can't say to God on the day of judgement that they never heard the gospel.
This reminded me of John Allen Chau's story. To find out more about him see link on John Allen Chau.
Though John' s case was slightly different to the incident I just narrated, their mission remained the same. That is, to share the gospel with all nations, not just with the selected few we deem appropriate to share it with. This was what Jesus commissioned his disciples to do. In the the book of Mark 16:15 after Jesus' resurrection, he recommissioned his disciples to:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel
to every creature." Mark 16:15 (NKJV)
He also spoke about what could happen whenever the gospel is preached. He said that some would hear the gospel and believe, whilst others would hear, but fail to believe what they have heard. Jesus already knew his disciples would face resistance to the gospel they preached and was preparing them for the resistance that was to come. That was why Jesus said in the book of Mark 16:16 that,
He who believes... will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16, NKJV)
It was Jesus' way of reminding his disciples that their mission, however difficult, was to save lives by preaching the gospel. Lives that would go on to live eternally with God. But to those who heard the gospel, and refused to believe it, the result would be eternal damnation. Meaning they would be eternally seperated from God.
Is it any wonder that Christian missionaries would go to the ends of the earth to share the gospel? Because it's the love they have for God and others that propels them to share the gospel, as they don't want anyone to face eternal damnation.
So, however challenging the resistance, a true missionary for Christ keeps their eyes focused on eternity and for that, they will give their all to save lost souls. I pray the Lord will keep raising faithful misssionaries like those mentioned above, to win souls for his kingdom against all odds. And to help those who lack the courage to share the gospel, the grace to stand up and be counted for Christ.
Here are some encouraging words for my fellow believers in Christ:
You don't have to be a missionary to share the gospel of Christ with others. The bible says in Romans 12:6-8 that,
'We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us (by God). If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.
(Romans 12:6-8, NIV)
As mentioned earlier, when I narrated the story of the Christian missionary from india, I stood in the background and observed what was happening. Though, we weren't called to minister to people in the streets, my companion and I still had some God-given gifts we could share with her. So, we said a prayer for her and left her some encouraging words before we departed.
Why did I mention this? It's because, as followers of Christ, there is always something we can do to support the furtherance of the gospel however little.
Truth is, to echo the words of the song 'When I Pray' by Christian artist 'Doe',
" I don't always know what to say...I'm not very eloquent in speech...all I know is something happens when I pray".
And that was all I and my companion did. We said a simple prayer for the missionary and gave what we had, eventhough it wasn't much. And any fellow believer can do the same. All you need to do, is to use whatever you have at your disposal to help others and leave the rest in God's capable hands.
I'm Kemi West. A simple Christian, learning to live life, through the teachings of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. I’m looking to share the gift of Christ with others.