“I think God has called me to be a missionary!”
That’s what I, a punk middle school kid, said to my parents after going on my first mission trip.
When a missionary is sent to the field, people usually assume that the sending just occurs during fundraising or at the last moment when they pray the person out. At least that’s what I always thought.
Timothy, probably a punk kid at some point as well, was preaching in Ephesus when he got his letters from Paul. In Paul’s second letter to Timothy, he reminds him that the faith that drove Timothy to be in ministry started with his mother and grandmother instilling it in Timothy when he was younger.
Like Timothy, my sending started from my own parents teaching me at a young age. The three things I remember most vividly from my childhood are the prayer before eating, before bed, and the song they would wake my sisters and I up with in the morning. It was in those songs that I learned that God is the provider, for the day and for our needs, that Jesus loved me, and that when I was afraid it was God I could trust in. It was in Sunday school classes that I learned more about the Bible and how the world and God interact with one another. Finally, it was watching those that had walked the long road of life before me that I learned how to live like a Christian.
It was all of that history I was carrying into my first short-term mission trip in 2009 and what eventually led me to tell my parents those words that would lay out the rest of my life.
Funny enough, though it took eight more years for me to actually see those words come true, and though in those eight years I made a lot of mistakes, it is how those people have been a part of my life that has kept me striving after God.
In his essay/sermon The Weight of Glory, C.S. Lewis writes how every day we carry the weight of the potential glory of all of those we interact with and how there are “no mere mortals.” From children to grown adults, we are building the foundation that will send others out into the world on God’s behalf. How we live, and sometimes how we die, can all contribute to furthering the kingdom. Through caring about some weird kid or person in the corner, we may just be praying for the next person who will be serving halfway around the world.
I thank God for those who built me up in times of weakness and doubt and helped to carry me even when I wanted to go other ways. I thank him for people in my life who, with maybe some doubt, were willing to listen and pray when I told them that I was going to be a missionary in Hungary without even having graduated high school yet.
As a team, we want to thank all of those in our lives who have been willing to put aside their own selves so that they could care about us and prepare us to be sent into the world in the name of Christ. Every person we share or interact with in Hungary is carrying the message that was passed to us through what you did in our lives.
– By Daniel Buck, OMS Hungary Team Member