A college-age American decides to enlist to serve his/her country. Family and friends are proud and encourage them. Flags wave. They are deployed and lose their life on foreign soil and are recognized as a hero. Honored by the government and their community, as they should be.
A college-age American wants to be a missionary. Family and friends encourage them to get an education first. Parents worry that they will be behind their peers in earning power. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t.
He/she feels called to serve in a poor and/or dangerous part of the world. Church leaders questions the wisdom of it and are not likely to support (especially if female). Parents and friends wonder why they would want to leave America and live in a place where there are so few churches and so few blessings.
Everyone points out the dangers. Maybe it’s a country with a strong Muslim presence (for the sake of this scenario, I won’t even use Iran) or anti-Christian government. He could be imprisoned. She could be kidnapped or raped. If it’s a couple and children are involved, grandparents can’t fathom their little cute ones living so far away.
Or maybe it’s questioning them on living without proper healthcare, or living with malaria or without Dr. Pepper and peanut better, American doctors and TV.
“But you can serve God right here in America!” or “The Bible belt needs Christians, too.”
“Europe needs missionaries, too” (and YES, they do)
“You might lose your life. We can’t take that chance.”
“God will send someone else. He will get the Gospel to them somehow. It doesn’t have to be you.”
“How can you raise your children in a place like that without…X,Y,Z?”
Two similar scenarios where a young person wants to make a commitment that could involve losing their life. One for God. One for Country.
How would you respond if it were your child, grandchild, sister, nephew?
How would your congregation respond to each of these?
How about responding only with situations that prove me wrong?
Give me examples of faith and courage.
Show me I am being ridiculous, setting up a straw-man.
Show me that we admire and support the courage of a Christian missionary AT LEAST as much as we do our servicemen and women! Please!