What Do Missionaries Do?

What Do Missionaries Do?
James 1:22 says, “ Do what God’s teaching says; don’t just listen and do nothing. When you only sit and listen, you are fooling yourselves.” Let's look at one way your family can apply God’s Word, doing what it says as you walk through life this weekend and next week (Deuteronomy 6:6-7). As Lexie told us in this post, missionaries do two things: help people and tell people about Jesus. You can do that this in creative ways too, just like the missionaries.
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

Tell People About Jesus

Image from http://www.missionaryhelp.com/?p=1321 Image from http://www.missionaryhelp.com/?p=1321
Missionaries need to find creative ways to make new friends and tell people about Jesus in ways they will understand. In some parts of the world, most people cannot read. Missionaries there sometimes use Bible story clothes or Bible story scarves. Click here, here, and here for examples of Bible story cloths and scarves. There are several types of Bible story cloths which are designed for different cultures. The stories are the same, but the pictures are more what each culture would expect. For example, compare this one with this one. You can make your own Bible story cloth. Use a white bandanna, handkerchief, or other square of fabric and some fabric markers. Don't have any? A paper napkin, paper towel, or piece of paper could work as well. Before you do your final draft on the special fabric, sketch out your plan on a sheet of paper.
  • How many stories will you draw?
  • In what order?
  • How will they help you tell someone about sin, Jesus, and how to live in a right relationship with God?
Once you have your plan, divide your special fabric into the right number of squares and draw your pictures. Remember to do your best work.
"Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." John 20: 30-31 (NIV)

Help People

Image (c) depositphotos.com/ darrinahenry Image (c) depositphotos.com/ darrinahenry
One of the things missionaries do is help people. Here are some examples of ways missionaries help people:
  • Teachers
Some missionaries teach in schools around the world. Some are even allowed to teach English using the Bible as the book students learn to read first.
  • Medical missionaries
Doctors, dentists, nurses, and other medical professionals sometimes serve in countries where their services are greatly needed. They provide free services, helping people to heal. As they do, they often have opportunities to introduce people to the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.
"Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me." Psalm 30:2 (NIV)
Mercy Ships are a type of medical missionary. Here is how their website describes them: "A floating hospital: Nearly 50% of all people in Africa have no access to a hospital or doctor. So the Africa Mercy brings volunteer medical teams and sterile operating rooms directly to people who would otherwise go without care. It’s the world’s largest civilian hospital ship providing state-of-the-art care to those in desperate need—free of charge."
  • Help with farming, etc.
ECHO Global Farm Tours, Ft. Myers, FL ECHO Global Farm Tours, Ft. Myers, FL
Some missionaries learn better ways to plant crops, build things, store and purify water. They then take these skills to places that need their help and teach those who live there how to grow more food. They then often have the opportunity to share about the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ. ECHO is an organization that trains people to do just that. Learn more here.
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35 (NIV)
You have opportunities to help people, just like the missionaries. As you help people, look for opportunities to tell people why you are serving them. We love and serve others because God first loved us. It is a way to say "thank you" and show others how much God loves them too. How can you help or serve someone this week?
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 (ESV)
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