American Christians, You Might Need to Start Living Like Missionaries
By Amy Medina
“I’m moving to Canada.”
Personally, Canada would be way too cold for me, but I understand the sentiment some have expressed. However, instead of fleeing for the hills—or tundra—maybe it’s time for American Christians to start living like missionaries in their own country.
Before you get offended, let me assure you I am in no way belittling the millions of American Christians who are already living out gospel-centered lives in their communities. As you learned in Sunday school when you were 5, we all are missionaries.
But I’m not talking about living as a proclaimer of the gospel, I’m talking about living as if America is not your country. Live as outsiders, exiles . . . as if you are living in a country that is not your own.
This is my life.
Not MY Country
I live in Tanzania—a country that is not mine. But I am living here as a long-term resident, so I care about what happens in Tanzania. I prayed during the election. I follow the news. I rejoice with Tanzania’s successes and hurt for its losses.
Gil and Amy Medina serve with ReachGlobal in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. They have adopted four Tanzanian children: Grace, Josiah, Lily, and Johnny.
But this is not my country. I don’t expect that my political opinion matters much. I am not surprised if I experience animosity. I don’t expect to have many rights. I do expect to feel like an outsider.
It means that if I see things happening in Tanzania that I don’t like, I’m not going to be angry that my rights have been violated. This country has never existed for my sake. I might be sad, frustrated, or angry at the injustice others are experiencing. But this country doesn’t owe me anything.
This means I am here as a learner. It doesn’t mean I will agree with everything I see in this culture, but it does mean I am going to do everything I can to understand it. I want to understand the worldview.
I’m going to filter what I see in this culture through the lens of Scripture. I’m not going to assume that my way of doing things, or my way of thinking about something, is the best. If something bothers me, I will consider what the Bible says about it before making a judgment.
I’m not going to hole up in a little community that believes everything exactly as I do. I don’t sequester my children from people with different values or religions. My children might end up being exposed to things that distress me, but I must trust God’s sovereignty with that. The alternative is to lose our ability to be light in our community…
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