Editorial: April 2017
What makes AFM missionaries unique? Christ calls all Christians to lives of service and ministry to people around them. In this sense, the calling of a frontier missionary is the same as yours and mine. What sets frontier missionaries apart is not so much what they do, but where. They minister to unreached people by being present with them wherever they are found on the face of the earth, sharing deeply in their joys and sorrows (see pages 6 and 45).
However, one of the paradoxes of frontier missions is that presence requires separation. Since missionaries cannot be in two places at once, their ministry of presence among the unreached comes at a terrible price—they must live half a world away from family and loved ones. It is not easy to live with a divided heart, especially when tragedy strikes back home. This month, Elijah Williams (p. 36) and Boaz Church (p. 44) both talk about the pain of losing dear ones—a father, and a grandfather who was like a father.
In the midst of their heartache, our missionaries’ commitment to reaching the unreached burns even brighter, because they hold even more tenaciously to God’s promises. They make the sacrifice of separation from loved ones so that someday they, their loved ones and their redeemed friends can all be present forever with their Redeemer. “. . . that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:3).