Why is it that the stories of missionaries (or Mission Partners) seem to have been written a hundred years ago, involving people in countries we're unlikely to ever visit, and makes them seem to be super spiritual or other worldly?
Does anyone ever write anything about anyone who you could have heard of, could have met at your local church, and is really just like other people in the fellowship? Well yes they do - but not all that often!
But just recently a book was launched at the morning service at St Martin’s Anglican Church (Spreydon, Christchurch) which actually fits those criteria. Out from St Martin’s contains sixty two stories from people who have been associated with that church in one way or another, who have followed the leading of God to serve overseas. Yes, some of the authors are oldies, but all are ordinary Kiwis. It is interesting to note, that from a NZCMS point of view 37 of the stories are of those who served within the fellowship. Bishop Brain Carrell described a particular time when the Rev Roger Thompson was Vicar, “As a Crucible for Christian Commitment”.
There are short-termers who served for a few months, and long-termers who gave a lifetime of service, each telling their unique story of how God equipped, sustained and protected them during that service.
Nicky Gumbell, the founder of the famous Alpha Course, wrote “We all have a story to tell. Every family has stories. Every church has its own story of what God has done. Every Christian has a story – a testimony. All of us have access to the great story of what God has done in Christ”.
What will your story be like? Is it going be like the sixty two recorded in this book? Will it include time spent serving in cross-cultural mission, whether in New Zealand or overseas?
By the way the book is an easy read, inspirational and challenging!
Copies may be ordered by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or writing to: Lyn Smith, 49 Wyn Street, Hoon Hay, Christchurch 8025. Cost: only $25 per copy (plus P&P: $5 for 1–2 copies).