Did you know that there are other types of missionaries? I KNOW! As narrowed minded as I can be sometimes, Adventists aren’t the only ones with a purpose to serve and have the gospel reach the far corners of the Earth.
How did I come upon such delicate information? Well, we met some other missionaries that weren’t Adventist and they were awesome!
The other day I had the privilege of meeting a couple, Joel and Sue. They crossed paths with Wesley and had been trying to invite us out to their mission compound for the past few months. We finally made good on their offer and went out to the community of Flying Missions Zambia where they work. FMZ is a wonderful organization that flies out doctors or missionaries to remote parts of the country to do work. As they were showing us around, Joel and Sue, mentioned that they might fly out doctors anywhere from one to three times a week to remote places. In fact, there is currently an orthopedic surgeon who flies out every Thursday, to various clinics to do surgeries and flies back on Saturdays. Joel and Sue have been with FMZ for almost 20 years, first in Botswana, then here in Zambia. They raised their two, now grown, boys in Africa and have the biggest heart for missions and Africa.
As we were walking around the grounds, we came upon another young missionary couple, Chelsea and Shane, who were staying in the guest house on the property. They were also missionaries from yet another organization called Overland Missions who had arrived to Zambia around the same time Wes and I had.
I don’t know about Wes but for me, when I saw another young missionary couple also giving up their life of comfort to live as missionaries, it affirmed our work here and that we weren’t altogether that crazy for picking up our lives. But I can’t compare our mission post to Chelsea and Shane’s. No, we definitely have nothing to complain about when it comes to our living situation. They live out in the Gwembe Valley, deep in the bush next to the Kafue River where they currently live in a tent while their house is being built. They have integrated themselves in to the local village culture by eating n’shima with the locals, taking trips out the remote parts of the village to start small groups and just dwell among the people and talk God. They come into the city about once a month to stock up on goods and restore some mental health after being out in the bush for so long.
After we all walked the grounds together, surveying the massive hanger with planes and offices, walking the runway and rest of the property, we sat down to have coffee. Yes, coffee. I panicked a bit when they asked if I wanted some, to which I quickly shot up the God-line, “Do I want one Lord?” And I was comforted by the thought, so I had my damn cup of coffee and wasn’t judged for it! We sat for about an hour, just talking about our young less-than-a-year experiences while also listening to the veteran’s stories over some delicious cookies and brownies. During our conversation, yet another missionary couple from Switzerland joined us, Salome and Mattius, who I bonded with over our love of all things chocolate, Toblerone and cheese.
Showing no signs of stopping, Sue invited us all over to their house for some grilled cheese and “tomato soup”. (I put it in “” because it’s no Campbell’s over here but it’ll suffice.) We continued to talk and get to know each other and I found that I was really enjoying myself. Words like “blessed”, “Lord’s calling”, and phrases like, “Being called to missions”, and “God answering our prayers,” were flying around the room. Normally, I would try to bat those phrases down, having been jaded by an over usage of them from ‘throw-our-beliefs-at-you’ Christians, I was instead comforted by them. I found myself using these words because I wanted to and NOT because I felt like I had to use them to show I was one of them.
Wes and I walked out of there with our spirits lifted and our souls little more filled in our mission here. We may not be the type of missionaries that preach or comfortably use God-talk all the time but we know our actions and hearts are set in the right direction and most of all, I know that God is with us in all that we do. I also know that God is amazing and can use any type of person for his mission, as was represented in our little gathering. Among our group was a technician, mechanic, pilot, organizer, preachers, teacher and a dentist, all of us called to missions.
P.S. If you are curious about either of those missionary organizations, please click the links to learn more because they are both doing great work and are filled with awesome people.