If God allowed Jonah to make career choice, he wouldn’t have chosen to be a Missionary. The thought of becoming a missionary had no place in his heart while he was planning his life as a young boy. But one day, God showed up and called him into missions work with the following mandate. ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.’ Jonah 1:2.
‘Why me? What about my plans of becoming a renowned medical doctor? I still wish to grow my business to an international conglomerate and I have decided to become a politician of global reckoning. No, no, no,… I cannot become a missionary in the first place, not to talk about going to that demonically afflicted and wicked Nine-veh of all places. Over my dead body! I will rather use my wealth to support those who are going instead of going myself.’ Jonah complained. Then, ‘Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; …’ vs 3.
After the initial shock and rejection of the calling, God finally prevailed over Jonah; he therefore decided to obey God, abandoned his self-made Joppa journey, and went to Nine-veh - a ‘journey of appointment with destiny.’ Jonah’s message to the people of Nine-veh was so powerful that every living creature in the town repented and turned to God. ‘So the people of Nineveh believed God, …’Jonah 3:5.
While the people of Nine-veh were fascinated for the great redemption brought to them by God’s love and mercy through Jonah, Jonah was frustrated for being neglected, abandoned and isolated. He was alone without consolation, appreciation, support, counsel, encouragement. The frustration was so much that he desired death rather than living. ‘O LORD, take, I beseech thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.’ Jonah 4:3. My yoke-fellows in mission work, I know what we go through as we strive to obey God’s mandate of soul winning committed to our trust. The scars of pains, hunger, neglect, want, pressure, waiting, needs and the likes we suffer as we advance in taking over territories for the King of glory are signs of our being gallant soldiers in Christ Army. Just as a word of appreciation from Nine-veh people could have motivated and encouraged Jonah to rise up and face other challenges ahead of him in his missionary work instead of wishing himself death, so is encouragement from the people we are reaching out to and from anyone who appreciate our soul-winning sacrifices would help us to sharpen our tools and go on with our assignment.
I hereby speak on behalf of every saved soul all over the world to say ‘THANK YOU’ to those who brought the message of salvation to us, ‘WELL DONE’ to my yoke-fellows in mission work around the world, and ‘CONTINUE WITH THE GOOD WORK’ to those who are supporting missions works in prayer and with financial/material gifts.
A soldier with a beautiful face after warfare is not in the best position to explain the horror, challenges and the victory of battle. This can best be done by the one with war scars and blood-stained face. I salute my comrade-fellow missionaries all over the world. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB.