07 April 2012

On being a Missionary

I am getting on towards the end of my service here in HK and I thought I would take a few moments to reflect on how my idea of "Missionary" has changed over the past months.

Initially, when I thought about what it might mean to be a missionary I had the same idea that most people have. Someplace rural, working with my hands, and sharing my life and heart with others. After learning more about the Five Marks of Mission and the placements in the YASC program, it changed to encompass so much more.

Even when I arrived in Hong Kong I had all kinds of ideas about what I would be doing and my role at the Cathedral. My mindset had expanded to include all of my life in mission--one does not have to go to faraway places to be a missionary. Indeed, as Desmond Tutu insists, we are all missionaries. When you wake up in the morning you are a missionary, sent out to engage in the reconciling work of God's love. When you are sitting in traffic, you are a missionary. When you are sending emails, you are a missionary. Etc...

In many ways my life is very similar to how it was back home. I am blessed to serve in a very urban, developed place with plenty of food, water, internet, and anything else I can think of, readily at hand. I think about my fellow missionary Karen in South Africa and how different our placements are--yet, we are on the same Mission. I go out with my friends in my off time and holidays, hang out and go to the movies. But are those any less of an opportunity to be a missionary? I find myself offering love and friendship, a listening ear and a smile of encouragement just as I would to friends back home.

Now, I think being a missionary is more about attitude and actions than it is about placement or occupation. I basically work an office job, with other responsibilities, but in my heart I am a missionary. I am sent out to bring God's reconciling love to anyone I meet, whether it's in the office at the Mission or somewhere else.

I hope that over the past few months' journey with me you have also considered the ways in which you engage in mission in your own life. I pray that we all can recognize those opportunities for grace in our lives, those times when God's love can shine through us and out into the world.

Grace and Peace,

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