When I presented the need for the gospel in Italy at a church in Rochester last month, the pastor recommended I read an article he found on the internet prior to my arrival that relates what it means to be a cross-cultural missionary to Italy.
The article was written by a Church of Nazarene missionary to Italy in the 1970’s who relives his first nine months on the field. He beings with a military illustration about priorities and relates it to ministry.
If you ask a soldier on the front line how things are going he may say, “Well it’s pretty rough up here. We’re attacking on that hill. We sent a few men up and some have been hit… I think one is my buddy. But we can’t get to him. Listen, when you get back there, tell them to send up more ammunition, we’re running short.” (Front-line problems)
But go back to the rear and ask, “How are things going men?” “Terrible. My tent leaks. I had a sand crab in my boot this morning. The guy next to me snores.” (Rear-line problems)
What are your concerns? What we talk about most displays whether or not we are concerned about the last marching orders of Jesus Christ – His Great Commission.
This article was very insightful about potential “front-line problems” we might face in Italy. He penned his thoughts on his first nine months to “preserve that fresh rookie perspective.” Although I disagree with him doctrinally, it is clear that this missionary had a heavy burden for Italy. The article spoke to my heart personally as I long to be with the people the Lord has called me to reach with the gospel. You can read the entire article by clicking here.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” – Proverbs 29:18a