*** THE BRIGHT SIDE OF MISSION ***
THE BRIGHT SIDE OF MISSIONS - aka-"The Brilliance of Amazing Grace" poured out, overflowing, never ceasing and sometimes in the form of a Spiritual Hero
I didn't want to post "The Dark Side of Missions" without also posting the most significant side-"THE BRIGHT SIDE OF MISSIONS"- filled with grace...a "Let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need“, a "My grace is sufficient, for my power is made perfect in weakness" kind of grace which missionaries rely on. The marvelous thing about grace is...it's there when you need it and sometimes shows up when least expected. When we forget the promise of grace, it's triggered by a Bible verse we memorized as a child, the tune to a hymn we can't get out of our minds, or in the face of an inspiring hero.
Growing up my heroes were the spiritual types...not just the dearly departed saints of the Bible but those still alive. I loved the stories of Billy Graham and Corrie ten Boom, after all, I was a Baptist, but the grace reminder, the faces of heroes that to this day, still pop into my head, are Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Roger Youderian, Ed McCully, and Pete Fleming. The five brave missionaries who were killed by the Aucas Indians in 1956.
Their faces are vivid because I know them...though they were born and died before me...I know them through the stories. They represent courage, a devotion to seeing God's will through to the end, without limitations, a life dependent on a never-ending supply of grace.
My senior year I ended up living near Wheaton College-the college attended by my "spiritual heroes." My parents wanted me to attend Wheaton because it was a great school and I could live at home. I'll never forgot the first time I walked through the HALL OF MEMORY and saw the beautiful paintings of legendary Wheaton alumni. Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Billy Graham, and Elisabeth Howard-Elliot were among them. At that moment I knew God had a purpose for my life.
YES! There is a BRIGHT SIDE TO MISSIONS - just ask those serving in today's mission field. Through loneliness, physical danger, disease, and unbelief they are sustained by grace. Sometimes it arrived when they least expect it - in the nod of a local who for the first time, understands the gospel message or in the face of a spiritual hero from long ago. The Brilliance of Amazing Grace, poured out, overflowing, never ceasing, is God's gift to all believers and will forever remind, the BRIGHT AND SHINNING SIDE OF MISSIONS.