So, there’s this guy, Dave. He likes God and missions and Africa, so much so that he moved to Cameroon to live and minister among a Bible-less people in the East Region. His wife, Stacey, sometimes wonders, “Am I a horrible parent for moving my kids (back) to Africa?”

Yea. there’s a lot of thoughts like this swirling around their brains.

They know a thing or two about adventure and rugged lifestyles. But they’re not simply thrill-seeking globetrotters on a mission to pacify the plague of wanderlust. That why Dave wrote a little something about the misconceptions of the missionary call.

J.D. Greear like what Dave had to say so much that he ended up retweeting it. One of the main things that popped out to him was this: Missionaries don’t go because they are adventurers that love rugged lifestyles. They go because the job is not yet done.

Check out these powerful thoughts from the mind of a missionary named Dave.

Misconception number 4: You have to be adventurous in order to go into missions.

(See all 4 misconceptions on Dave’s original blog here.)

“So, this is just a lie, I think from Satan, to keep more Christians from going out. This is the lie that says you have to enjoy poisonous snakes inside your house to become a missionary. No one likes poisonous snakes in their house. This lie says that you have to enjoy traveling to become a missionary. I don’t like traveling. I used to like traveling, but then I had kids. I don’t like the jungle. I don’t like the dirt. I don’t like hiking through the bush with a machete. You know what I like? Pavement. Air conditioning. Cheese. Having an ER that I can take my kids to. That’s what I like.

“People tend to think that missionaries go because they somehow like to live in miserable places. This is just not true. Missionaries like comforts just as much as the next guy. But, the reality is that the unreached are generally unreached for a reason: they are usually the ones with the snakes, with the bugs, with the humidity. Even in Cameroon, when we were looking for a place to work, we were told that the languages by the beach were already taken.

“I write all this because I want the church to see that first of all, missionaries are just regular Christians. I am convinced that the vast majority of missionaries are not “called” in the subjective sense, but persuaded from Scripture. We are persuaded that the task of the church today is the spread of the Gospel to the nations. And we are persuaded that the God-chosen method of spreading the Gospel is by normal people going to far away places. We are persuaded that the message that we carry is that people by nature are separated from God, and without the Gospel they will spend eternity without Him. We are persuaded that this world is not our home, and we shouldn’t love the things of this world. We are persuaded that God is made strong in our weakness. And finally, we are persuaded that

the job is not yet done.

“There are just over 7,000 living languages in the world. Of these languages, only 9% have a translation of the entire Bible. That is 636 languages. 21% of these languages have the New Testament, which is awesome. Another 16% have portions of the Scriptures. So, even if we are going to just do the New Testament, we have this 16% plus the 3,777 languages that do not have a single word of the Bible. Now, not all of these languages will survive the time it takes to translate, so the estimate, not including those who already have portions or already have the NT, there are around 1,800 languages that currently have no Scripture and need it.

In the last 2,000 years we have only translated the whole Bible into 636 languages. There is so much work to do.

“While I find that a lot of people do not genuinely consider the missionary life as an option, I believe that all Christians should consider the missionary life. Many will decide in the end that they should not move overseas and become a missionary. But this decision should not be based on the misconceptions above. It should not be because they are waiting for supernatural confirmation. Instead, those who chose to stay ought to do so because they believe that they are best used in God’s kingdom in that role.”

So, there’s Dave’s rant for ya, and you’re welcome.

Because you know it’s true. Because you know that you have a part to play in God’s Great Commission, and it ain’t disobedience. Go, send, or disobey—those are your options.

C’mon thrill-seeking, globetrotting, adventurers—and even those of you who can’t stand this kind of stuff: it’s time to get busy about the Father’s work and finish the task of reaching unreached people groups!

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
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