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Monthly Missions Message

"Keep Walking"

December 2002

We have begun the gargantuan task of “language learning.”  We are slowly progressing in our speech and comprehension—not to mention, giving a lot of Filipinos something to laugh about.  One of the integral parts of language learning is getting out of the confines of a “classroom” and utilizing the language in real life situations.  For instance, I was able to order my lunch at McDonalds using only the Tagalog dialect today, so we celebrated.  However, my wife thinks I need to continue practicing, especially at McDonalds.

As often as possible, I try to go to the markets and parks to communicate with nationals and learn more of the language.  This afternoon, I was in the downtown market “practicing” my language skills.  When I walked out of the market, I noticed a large crowd of people in the central plaza.  I went over to see what was happening.  There were thousands of people gathered there listening to a man who was speaking passionately in his native dialect.  I was trying to understand what he had to say, but he was speaking so quickly that most of what he said was unintelligible to me.  As I got closer, I noticed a banner on the stage.  It took some time for me to interpret the banner.  Once I was able to read it, I came to realize that I was standing in the middle of an anti-US government rally opposing the views of the United States on dealing with terrorism.  My family and I are usually quite a spectacle as we make our way around town, but in this situation, I really became conspicuous to the bystanders.  I was unnerved by the whole scenario.  That was the moment that I decided to just keep walking!

Many times, life on the mission field is romanticized to be a perilous journey for super-spiritual Christians only.  Sometimes, missionaries may be guilty of communicating this sentiment themselves.  But in the whole history of Christian missions, how do my struggles, inconveniences, and moments of "nervousness" compare to the manner in which so many before me have been mistreated, persecuted, jailed, beaten, or even martyred for the cause of Christ.

When I think of the Apostle Paul and all that he endured as a missionary, I think the one thing that amazes me the most is how little he spoke of all that he had to endure in the ministry.  I am familiar with the passage in 2 Corinthians 11:23-27, where Paul spends five short verses describing his mishaps on the mission field, in fact, we may have wondered why he even included such a list.  But I am quickly reminded of how often my conversation focuses upon me—my struggles, my trials, my temptations, and my sacrifices.  It is then that I must repent for my selfishness and trust in His promise in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”  It is my responsibility to merely “keep walking!”


For More Information Contact:

BMAA Missions in the Philippines
PO Box 30910, Little Rock, Arkansas 72260-0016 USA
Tel: 501-455-4977
FAX: 501-455-3636

E-mail: [email protected]

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Last modified: September 15, 2006