For the past couple of months Lauren and I have been working on transcribing some letters and notes of a senior missionary with New Tribes Mission.
It has been a long process, and, unfortunately, a re-occurring theme in these works is that happy endings are rare. I read about young children who die, who lose the ability to walk, and who get bit by snakes and have their flesh rot away. As I read, I keep waiting for the happy ending, the helicopter full of doctors, the vaccine to finally take effect, but the sad reality is that life for these people is a daily fight for survival.
Just listen to this excerpt from the notes:
“Whatever will become of us?” Lina’s mother cried, holding Lina tightly to her breast and pouting at the limp leg hanging beside her. My through was tight. I had no words of consolation, and I held out my arms to Lina. She didn’t smile…she never does anymore…but she held one arm out to me, and I lifted her from her mother’s embrace. She’d been the pride of her family since her birth less than two years earlier, and had been so exceptional on her appearance. And now… She’d stopped eating when she first became sick, and I’d begun bribing her with hard candies. She clung tightly to me with one arm. Her mother often cries with the realization that her little beauty queen is going to be one of the village outcasts…a dirty, helpless cripple.
We live in such a bubble! I’ve never seen a person die, and I’ve seldom seen someone in real physical distress. We talk about needs, physical and spiritual, but I think we don’t always realize the condition of the “dark places” of this world. The way things are left in spite of, and sometimes because of, our neglectful, opulent, self-focused, lifestyles.
People, God wants these people. He’s going to bring the eternal happy ending to some, but there are still billions who will never have an eternal happy ending because the Word of God has not yet reached their language and will not reach them unless we the Church start obeying the commission of the Father and start taking His heart for the world as our own.
One tribal man, after repeatedly denying the work of Christ and experiencing an incredible phenomenon while hiking in the jungles had this to say to the missionaries.
“Ai (their name for the missionary),” Jose asked, “Why did God do that? Why does he want to scare me?”
“He wants you to know He’s really there!” Ai laughed.
“He really wants me, doesn’t He?!” Jose laughed.
God really does care about and want the Lost! Do we?
Just some thoughts from a sanctified sinner, Mark
Read more stories from the missionary above here.