A young man’s call to the missionary field runs into a church’s vision to make a name for themselves.
(SCENE: PASTOR is sitting in his office, enter MISSIONARY)
PASTOR: Ah, come in Mr. Jenkins
MISSIONARY: Uh, it’s “Johnson”, actually.
PASTOR: Yes, yes. Now I understand that you’re interested in missions, is that right?
MISSIONARY: Yes, that’s correct, mission work is something very dear to me.
PASTOR: Great, great. Now, you understand, Mr. Jackson, that our church has a vision, a grand vision, mind you, given to us, by the Lord Himself, to “Reach Out To Romania”.
MISSIONARY: Yes, I am quite aware of this vision. I got the flyer and the bulletin and the e-mail and the personal visitation, thank you.
PASTOR: Excellent. We are going to be the LARGEST church to make the GREATEST impact on Romania. When anyone thinks of Romania and missions, they’ll think of our church and our mission to “Reach Out To Romania”…
PASTOR: Say it with me once: Reach Out—
MISSIONARY: (unenthusiastically) “Reach Out To Romania”
PASTOR: Doesn’t it feel good just to say it?
MISSIONARY: Yes, well, my parents were both missionaries to Nigeria…
PASTOR: Excellent, excellent. We can use an experienced hand. Most of the lot we ship off to Romania hardly get any training at all, frankly. We hand them a phrase book and a Gideon Bible and throw them down the funnel, as it were—
MISSIONARY: They don’t get any training?
PASTOR: Time is of the essence, Mr. Johanneson, people are dying every day in Romania who haven’t heard our message. “Das ve Danya” as they say there—
MISSIONARY: That’s a Russian saying, actually—
PASTOR: Excellent, excellent! A man of discernment. We can put you into the field right away. “Reach Out To Romania”. Say it once more:
MISSIONARY: “Reach Out To Romania”. Actually, I’ve put a lot of prayer into this, and after my parents both passed away, I’ve felt the calling to follow in their footsteps—
PASTOR: Excellent, excellent. We’ll get you a phrase book and toss you down the chute, though a man of your discernment may not even NEED a Romanian phrasebook, eh? (laughs)
MISSIONARY: Well, that’s just it. I was raised in Nigeria, I am well acquainted with the customs, I speak and write many of the local dialects, and I am on good terms with many of the workers there already. And after much consideration, I feel a call to go back to Nigeria.
PASTOR: Well, it’s not exactly “Romania”, is it?
MISSIONARY: Um, no, it’s not…
PASTOR: Sticky bit is this: we’re very keen on sending people to Romania, don’t you know? It’s our call to “Reach Out—“
MISSIONARY: “—To Romania”, yes. But I feel a real love and burden for the Nigerian people.
PASTOR: Say no more! Who am I to keep you from your love and your calling.
MISSIONARY: Thank you, that’s very reasonable.
PASTOR: I think we can reach a compromise.
MISSIONARY: I was hoping we could--
PASTOR: I’m sending you off on the red-eye flight tonight. Why didn’t I think of this before? You’ll be the perfect liaison for all Nigerian nationals living in Romania!
PASTOR: A virtually untouched mission field! Nigerians in Romania! You’ll probably need that phrasebook after all—
MISSIONARY: Don’t be ridiculous—
PASTOR: Oh! Of course, you’re an experienced hand, you don’t NEED a phrasebook.
MISSIONARY: Never mind the phrasebook! I don’t want to go to Romania!
PASTOR: I’m not sure I’m understanding you brother—
MISSIONARY: How simple can it be? Romania is not my mission field, it’s not my calling.
PASTOR: Now, you know, brother, that our church has a vision.
MISSIONARY: Yes, our church has a vision. “Reach Out—
PASTOR: --To Romania,” yes. Now, you are a part of this body, aren’t you?
PASTOR: So, our church’s vision is your vision, right?
MISSIONARY: (deep breath) I support the church’s vision.
PASTOR: “Reach Out—
MISSIONARY: “—To Romania”, yes. But that doesn’t necessarily make it my personal calling.
PASTOR: Our church’s vision is not good enough for you, is that what you’re saying?
MISSIONARY: No, no, I don’t oppose the vision, or belittle it. But the Nigerian people I know can only walk to their destinations, they don’t even know where Romania is, much less be able to travel there
PASTOR: Wait. You say, they don’t know where Romania is, at all?
MISSIONARY: No, they don’t.
PASTOR: Imagine that. Not knowing where Romania is. Huh.
MISSIONARY: (dryly) Imagine.
PASTOR: Well, that’s an eye-opener, isn’t it?
PASTOR: So, if what I’m hearing sounds like what it is, you’re quite set on going to this Nigeria place, aren’t you?
MISSIONARY: It’s my calling, pastor.
PASTOR: I think we can reach a compromise.
MISSIONARY: (highly suspicious) Really?
PASTOR: Yes, without a doubt. You will be this church’s first missionary to Nigeria.
MISSIONARY: Thank you, pastor. I greatly--
PASTOR: Here you go, son.
MISSIONARY: What’s this?
PASTOR: It’s your Romanian phrasebook!
PASTOR: You are going to be our “Romanian Liaison” in Nigeria.
PASTOR: There’s BOUND to be Romanian nationals running about in Nigeria who haven’t heard our message in their own tongue. “L’chai-im”! To life!”
MISSIONARY: (angry) --That’s Yiddish—
PASTOR: Ha! There’s that discernment again! And you’re just our man to tell them for us. I’m excited for you, Mr. Jameson. You’re our ideal man to go out there to Nigeria and…. Say it with me: “Reach Out—
MISSIONARY: “--To Romania.” (depressed) Thank you, pastor, for all your help. (exits)