|Photo source: cmacan.org|
After Keith's Grandmother passed away, the family took to cleaning out her home. We found that she and Keith's grandfather kept some really special pieces of history in their files. One of which was this letter written by A.B. Simpson:
The Kind of Missionaries We WantBy A. B. SimpsonWe want men and women who are thoroughly converted and know it.We want men and women who are fully consecrated to God, sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit, so saved from themselves that they are at leisure to work for others.We want men and women who are burning with the love of souls and are longing to lead men and women to Christ.We want men and women who have already begun to work for Christ and have led many souls to the Saviour. One of the first questions asked a missionary candidate is, "How many have you led to Christ since you were saved?" The best place to begin foreign missionary work is at home. A man went away from meeting the Board the other day disappointed at not being able to answer this question satisfactorily, but he was determined it should not happen again. The next Sunday God gave him three souls.We want men and women who live simply, endure hardship, deny themselves, put up with every discomfort, who are not particular about their outfits, who do not want things "just so" for their wardrobe, who are willing to go to the heathen just as they are getting home, if necessary; who do not need two or three trunks and a great amount of baggage; who can travel with a knapsack like a solider and sleep in their boots, and will not grumble about it either, but enjoy it for Christ's sake; who have got over the romance and novelty of travel and are going to heathen lands for one thing only, and that is to win souls for Christ, to please Him and hasten His coming.We want men and women who are easy to get along with; who have died to self and selfwill; who can keep sweet and can submit themselves to their superintendents until they have learned the language and become qualified to be leaders, who can keep rank as David's soldiers; who are adjustable, good-natured, ready to meet persecution and insult without getting angry, and can live the Gospel of Christ among the heathen even as the Master did.We want men and women who are strong, vigorous, rugged, and healthy; or at least have such a hold of the Lord for their bodies that they are not afraid of climate, hard work, inclemency of the weather, and physical pressure; who now are having victories in their bodies and are able to stand exposure and hardship and do real work for God.We want men and women who know the Lord so well that they can have His joy under all circumstances; who will not be afraid of loneliness nor privation; who ask no greater recompense than the privilege of serving and pleasing Him, and will go out not wanting sympathy, but rejoicing in the name missionary and the privileged of enduring suffering and even shame for the name of Him who died for them.We want men and women who have such a distinct call to the mission field that they cannot stay back, and that even if we do not send them the will go somehow.The Lord send us a thousand such men and women.-The Alliance Witness, April 1892
After reading through this list of what Simpson hoped for in a missionary, I find myself both inspired and overwhelmed.
Inspired by all those who have lived up to this list and personally inspired to follow in that legacy.
While being simultaneously, overwhelmed by these tall standards to live up to.
And yet, Christ Himself called us to high standards for our lives, whether we are missionaries or not.
Matthew 5:16-- Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:44-- I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Matthew 28:19-- Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
This list has been a great reminder of all that God requires of us when He places a call on our lives. I will be the first to admit, I am not all that I should be. I fall short, as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a human, and as a missionary. But I press on, knowing that Christ is with me and He is the one transforming me. I am but a willing vessel to be used by Him, broken as I may be.
What about you? Are you living up to the call of Christ on your life? Trust in Him to guide you and refine you as you follow His lead.