Editorial: June 2017

Bill Fagal

June 1st, 2017 @ 8:50 am

I love my AFM missionary colleagues dearly, but I must say that they are quite a conventional, predictable bunch of people. Please don’t misunderstand me: I don’t fault them for lacking imagination. Not everyone can be mavericks, after all. If you ask any of them why they defaulted to front-line mission work instead of something more zesty and exotic like accounting or sales, they will humbly admit that they never felt God calling them to take up that kind of cross and face the risks associated with staying home. Instead, they settled for a sure thing as outlined in His Word.

If the previous paragraph seems upside-down and backwards to you, please bear with me, buckle your seatbelts, and keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times. This disorienting loop-the-loop has been brought to you courtesy of Angeline Nguyen, one of our new missionary candidates. In her article on page 27, she asks a simple question that gave my worldview a sudden, dizzying flip: “Why does our church consider the cross of frontier missions so unconventional? It should be the conventional cross for us, and other crosses should be unconventional.”

I have to admit that, for 18 years, I have been using this little editorial corner to point out the myriad ways in which our missionaries are unique, amazing, exceptional, unconventional people. Now I fear I may have had it wrong all this time. They are not unconventional for going. We are unconventional for staying.

“It will not do to say that you have no special call to go to China. With these facts before you and with the command of the Lord Jesus to go and preach the gospel to every creature, you need rather to ascertain whether you have a special call to stay at home.” —J. Hudson Taylor