Missionary Secrets 3: we don’t have answers
by Abu Daoud (5/2013)
I sat around smoking water pipe with a guy considering a long-term career in the mission field today. He is a friend of mine, a bit younger than me, but not much. But I have been out here for going on a decade, and he and his young family are only here short term.
He asked me questions. We were there to talk about life and pray together. (Yes, at a hookah bar—I’m all about religion in the public square…maybe I’ve been too influenced by Islam? Who knows, and who cares?)
How do you handle the stress? Me: Go on vacations outside of dar al islam?
What if the local churches don’t build you up? Me: You find fellowship in…your family? Old friends? The liturgy at my church sustains me, but you don’t go to a liturgical church, so…not sure…
Who are the mature Christians who can build you up? Me: here? Not many…there are older people but they are just passing through and don’t really grasp the local context. Maybe some European monk over at that church? Maybe your missions agency will be of help. In the end, you are alone.
I would never answer questions like this to a sponsoring church. I mean, I would not hide it, but this is not the stuff of Sunday School or sermons, is it? But here we are, serving, still.
May God give us many more years in the Middle East.