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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Missionary (10/19/06)

TITLE: Paths
By Lauren Bombardier
10/25/06


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David drank deeply from his canteen, then gave a deep sigh. "This is worth it." He gazed about the mission, leaning on his hoe.

I had been taking my aggression out on a particularly stubborn dirt clod when his words reached me. Straightening, I swiped my gloved hand at the sweat dripping from my forehead. "Huh?"

My brother laughed and handed me the canteen, then swept his hand out to indicate the mission. "All this is worth it."

I cocked an eyebrow at him, then looked around at the mission as I sipped from the canteen. While it wasn't as primitive as I had though it would be, it was still a far cry from the 21st century. The only building not mad of grass and mud was the clinic, and even that wasn't what I would call…stable.

Naked children ran past us as we leaned on our hoes. They were playing a game I didn't recognize. The women of the village that was attached to the mission went about their task, gossiping with each other and keeping an eye on their children. Some of the older men visited in the shade of the clinic. I had a feeling they were discussing David's and my gardening skills.

I handed the canteen back to David. "What do you mean?"

"If I can gain one soul for Christ, then that makes all of what I do here worth it." His laughter had faded into an intense passion, and there was something else I saw – contentment. He knew he was working the will of God for his life, and he was content.

I often struggled with contentment, or the lack of it, in my life. I had a just gotten good job working as a copy editor and I had even had some success as a writer myself. I lived on my own, and even though I wasn't married, I had enough friends and family to keep from being lonely. My church fulfilled most, if not all, my spiritual needs. So why did I feel so…restless? I thought it must be because God wanted me to do more, but what?

That evening, David and I talked about our family back home, and the friends he still had there. There was a lot of news for him to catch up on, and we spent a few hours reminiscing about old times.

He was eight years older than me and my hero. I admired him intensely for the sacrifices he made to come here and serve a people he didn't know. In the past week I've been at the mission, I saw and remembered the same gentleness he had when we were younger. He was the same, yet he was more, and it was all because of what he did for God.

"So. How have you been?" David held a mug of tea that I had brought with me from America.

A moment passed as I pondered what to say. He waited for me to form the words that described my inner turmoil. Finally, I blurted out, "I have no idea what God wants me to do!"

He set his mug down. "Lydia, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. I thought you were following your calling."

I shook my head. "I'm not sure anymore." I explained to him all the things that I've gone through in the past several years. He listened, occasionally asking a question. I finished with, "So you see, I really think God wants me to do what you do. He wants me to be a missionary."

David nodded. "You're right, He does want you to be a missionary. But I don't think He wants you to go to some country and struggle through years of learning the language, then trying to get the people to trust you enough for you to even speak of Christ."

I sat up in my chair. "But that's what you did!"

David sighed. "Lydia, we each are called to spread His gospel, but He gives us each different gifts. It is those gifts we are to give our message. Mine happens to be evangelism. Yours is more subtle, but I believe more powerful. You have the ability to reach hundreds, thousands, even millions at a time."

"You mean my writing?"

"Yes." David smiled. "That is your mission field."

Slowly, I began to understand. We each are called to go, but our paths are not the same. I smiled back. "Thanks, David."


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Member Comments
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Lynda Schultz 10/27/06
Thank you for this. I think you left something out of this sentence: "It is those gifts we are to give our message." but you know, the exercise of having to go back to read it to find out what was missing actually made the statement more powerful for me. Well done.
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/27/06
Great message! A few things made me really stumble, such as not realizing that the MC was just visiting and that she was a GIRL until the middle to end, but other than that this has a great tone. Good job!
Donna Haug10/28/06
Your simple title was very appropriate. God can use our talents to forward the cause of missions without actually becoming a 'missionary'. Most importantly, serve God faithfully on the PATH on which He leads us.
Rhonda Clark 10/31/06
This is really cool. I enjoyed your piece very much.