Saturday, February 03, 2007
Are Missionaries unbalanced?
Len Moules' speech in a conference in 1973. Taken from the book, On to the Summit, The Len Moules Story by Pat Wraight, OM,1981 (pg.89-92)

This is my favorite book, it inspires me a lot. The book is about the story of that ordinary man - a man who learned to reach for God's highest, always pressing on to the summit.

Are missionaries unbalanced?

"I’m a missionary and I pass verdict on myself this morning that I am unbalanced. I started as an ordinary person, I think. I dressed like the other. I like to watched ball game. I like to relax and listen to a concert of Grieg’s music. I guess I was just like any other person. But even before I left home to begin missionary work I began to be different. Some admired me. They realized that I was facing high Himalayan mountains and privations for a good work, that of bringing the gospel to those in closed lands. Others pitied the missionary – look what he is leaving and the great prospects he had in his secular work. He’s leaving home, father mother, loved ones, just for a vision. He’s a visionary, that’s what he is. Now, he’s back again or she’s back again after five or seven years on the mission field, and my! Aren’t they different now. To them some things don’t seem important at all. The Ashes, Dolphins v. Redskins, Arsenal v. Wolves leave them cold. Apparently they don’t see things as others see them. When they had the chance of a lifetime to meet some famous personality they showed little enthusiasm. It makes you ask where these people have been all the time. Well, where have they been?

"They have been where the conflict is with evil, and the conflict is fierce. They’ve been living where nice clothes don’t matter because there’s very little time to take care of them. They’ve been living where people have been dying for want of the help they could give. No doubt that one has been working where the temperature has been 120F. in the shade – but he couldn’t do his work in the shade. And time seems to have passed him by in these seven years. When you talked about the Beatles he’s puzzled, and when you happen to mention the current sports personality he’ll ask who he is. You just wonder how long he has been away. "

"All right, how long has he been away? He’s been long away enough to see thousands and thousands go into eternity without Christ, without an opportunity to hear the gospel. That’s how long he’s been away. And some of those went into eternity right in front of his eyes. He saw an overcrowded Chinese ferry-boat overturn with almost a complete loss of life. He saw the mass casualties of that cholera epidemic. He saw the blood that simply ran from that Hindu-Muslim riot which broke out. How long has he been away? He’s been away long enough to nurse his wife through a very serious patch of Tarai fever in North India. He’s been away long enough to have news of his mother’s death, Although he never heard that she was ill. And he’s been away long enough to see a few Outcastes out there in India somehow respond to the love and the light and the grace of God. He’s been out there long enough to feel the persecution they got from their neighbors left and right. He’s identified with them, he’s carried their burdens, his cheeks have been wet with their tears. He’s seen them grow from just a few believers to an operating fellowship and a church, an indigenous church. A church that is mature, a church that is now sending out others to the villages around proclaiming what Christ has meant to them. That’s how long he’s been away. "

"Yes, he’s been away a long period of time and he’s different. Unnecessarily so now, I suppose you’ll say. Yes, he’s might as well look to his clothes. He could get a tie with a bit of colour in it. He might take some interest in what’s going on around him, and enjoy a bit of social life. Well, of course he could, but he can’t forget for long that no doubt those millions are still going to lost eternity. That new suit you think he should buy, that’d pay for 3200 gospels when he goes back. And while you spend a day in business – just one day business – 5,000 Chinese or 5,000 Indians have moved over into eternity."

"And so when you meet this missionary, when he comes to your fellowship or your church, remember that he’s going to be different. No doubt he’s going to be unbalanced. I know you’re a bit embarrassed when he’s feeling for a word, but remember that for five to seven years he’s been speaking another language entirely and very fluently. It could be that when he’s in the pulpit he’s just not the orator class. He doesn’t grip you. He’s a bit flat. But if you saw him in that Indian bazaar you would hear his fluency in that language, you would see the illustrations from Indian culture that he gives; you would see the crowds drinking in the words of life. He’s out of place in the pulpit, no doubt, but oh, how God’s anointing is upon him there in that dirty, smelly, spice-ridden bazaar in India."

"Ah yes, and when you get near him he doesn’t seem to warm up so quickly as others – that youth evangelist that came, or the professor at the college- they are extrovert and you can touch them. But this chap, he doesn’t warm up. Well, no doubt he doesn’t. You see, for five to seven years he’s been in another culture and another social culture, and he’s unfamiliar with small talk and casual conversation. "

"Are missionaries unbalanced? Of course they are. I’m one and ought to know. But by whose scales are they unbalanced – yours or God’s?"


posted by GeNfAitH @ 10:29 PM   1 comments
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Location: Hainan, China

Made to make a difference; destined to do extraordinary things.

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