A few years ago, Wade and I traveled to India (for the second time) with a group called Trec, Int. We made our way to a rural tea garden community where we would be walking the mountains, sharing the truth and beauty of the gospel to a people group that had little exposure to God's Word. In fact, in one of the nearby villages, there was a single family who were believers in Jesus Christ. They were ostracized for their faith, shunned by their neighbors, and yet, they didn't leave. They stayed where God had placed them and chose to be a light in a dark place.
While there, the men slept in a small church while one other girl and I were put up in a house close by. They gave us a room and we set up our mats on the floor. As we looked around and got to know the family, we realized that this small room was used by a family of it's own. A whole family moved into the other part of the house with a whole OTHER family just so we could use that space. Sleeping in that room that night was hard, knowing that they were crammed together just on the other side of the wall. But they insisted. They wanted to bless us. To serve us. And they were happy to do it.
In fact, every morning, we would wake to the sounds of the children, calling to us from a crack in the wall near the floor, "good morning!" they'd say and giggle as they peeked through at us in our beds. They would stand outside the door, waiting for us and often watching us through the window until we came out so they could greet us properly and take us to breakfast. The woman pictured above would go in and pick up our beds every morning and sweep the room (even though it was perfectly fine already!) She wanted to give us her best. She wanted to take the extra step. She wanted to use her time and energy to love in the name of Jesus. She was a missionary. Not just because she was a servant, but because she was a part of sharing the gospel with her community, welcoming us in. Sometimes, being missional means being in the background. She was part of our team that week.
A year and a half ago, I wrote a mini-series on Life on a Mission and the very first post was titled, "Who is called to be a Missionary?" In short, if you're a believer, the answer is you. That doesn't mean you have to travel to Africa (although maybe you should!) but it means that God has given you the mission to be His hands and feet in this world. He has called you out to be the voice, crying in the wilderness, "make way for the Lord's coming!" He has made Himself an example to us on how to love and to serve: wash some feet, touch the sick, feed the hungry. These are things we can do today, right where you're sitting.
This missionary woman didn't have to travel away from her home to live her life on a mission that day. Instead, she opened her home up to others. She cleaned. She cooked. And she often stood in the shadows, so as not to make it about her, but instead to make it about Him. What is God calling you to today? To be on the front lines, proclaiming the gospel? Great! Is He calling you to support someone else as they do that? That's amazing! Is God leading you to open your home and offer Hospitality? Do that! The mission is to glorify God above all. Honor Him with your life today.