Missionary Essentials

Traveling light

Traveling light

Light --> Happy!

Light –> Happy!

One small thing recently reminded us of two qualities essential to missionaries, or for that matter all Christians – travelling light, and flexibility.

Because this is the high season for conferences and short-term missions, there are many missionaries coming and going and staying at the guest house: missionaries going on furlough and home assignment, short-term teams, and conference attendees. Our hosts tried to make us comfortable by giving us more room, but to accommodate as many people as possible, we have to move to make room for others during our first few weeks in Taiwan. Counting the initial couple of days in Taipei, then Taichung, plus two overnight trips to Chiayi and Min-Xiong, to-date we have moved a total of 11 times and slept in 9 different locations. Not that this mattered, the accommodations were all very comfortable. We have learned to travel light and live out of our carry-on luggage, a few days here, a few days there, leaving our check-in luggage at the guest house until we depart.

We’ve learned that we don’t really need that much to live on, and that the way of the pilgrim is a good, biblical way to go (Ps 84:5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.) But in order to do that you have to be flexible, the number one practical rule for a missionary. If you are a rigid person, who find it hard to adjust to changes, especially at the last minute, or don’t want to try new things e.g. foods, or can’t sleep in new surroundings, you will find it more difficult to be a missionary. The same is true in our life pilgrimage. Discipline is good, but if you can’t accept other points of view, alternative ways of doing things, you will find it hard to get along in life. We need to stand firm on the foundational truths, but to be very flexible when it comes to secondary issues. Don’t waste your time and energy over non-essentials. Focus your energy on your life mission, where it really matters.

No. 1 requirement for a missionary.

No. 1 requirement for a missionary.

If you want to grow, you need to be flexible.

If you want to grow, you need to be flexible.

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