February 9, 2022
By Karen Hunt
When I was a child, I was fascinated by missionaries. I often saw them speak at my church, which was very missions-minded. Additionally, my parents received Missions Magazine, and I read every issue eagerly. I was fascinated by these seemingly super Christians. Although I was drawn to missionaries, I was also afraid that I would be called to be one and go far away from Michigan. I wanted to stay home!
As I’ve grown older, I’ve realized that I have some personality quirks which would not have made me a good missionary when I was younger, and I never received the call to go overseas, even though I come from a multi-cultural background and I have a flair for languages. God, at this point, has not made me use them for HIm in the overseas missions field.
Instead, I use other talents in my own missions field. Before my father died, he told me, “Your children are your mission field.” He was right, They have been my primary focus of my talents and energy. My mission field, for now, is my home.
In that way, I am like the man in the Gospel of Mark. Mark is a gospel full of drama, and the story in Mark chapter five is one of its most dramatic. In it, Jesus met a man possessed by a host of demons. This man lived in the tombs, crying and cutting himself. Taking pity on him, Jesus called demons out of him, and, at their request, sent them into a nearby herd of pigs, which then rushed down a bank to drown in the lake below. When the villagers came out to see what happened, they begged Jesus to leave.
“As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. Jesus did not let him, but said, ‘Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’”Mark 5:18-19, NIV
Even though the man was willing to go with him and had a tremendous testimony, Jesus knew that he would best serve God where he was, in the place where he was, in the place that Jesus was not wanted. In the next verse, we know that God blessed this man’s obedience.
“So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.”Mark 5:20, NIV
So God hasn’t called me to overseas missions–yet. Like the man whom Jesus healed, I am at home, but I am charged, like him and all other followers of Christ, to tell how much Jesus loves me and how much mercy he has shown me. and cares for me. We may not have the exciting testimony the healed man did, but all of us can look whether overseas or are in our homes, we are always missionaries.
Photo Credit: Liv Bruce