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It’s worth it to see it through.

Dave Brunn in “Translation and Teamwork: A Conversation with Dave Brunn, Part 2”

What’s worth it? Working with people. Partnership in the gospel. Brotherly love.

Sophia Lee, “Missionary reminders,” WORLD Magazine (Jan 14, 2019)

Missionaries are not colonists, we are servants. We are not here to take, but to give. I don’t want to own their land, make money off of their natural resources, or make them look or act like me. I don’t want to control them, I don’t even want to lead them. I want to help them, to give them access to God’s Word, and the ability to read. I want them to see that eating too many mangoes does not cause malaria, but sleeping under a mosquito net helps. And I am doing my best to work myself out of a job. I want to see Kwakum men and women leading their own people in all of these things.

Dave Hare, “3 Internet Accusations Against Missionaries” (Nov 25, 2018)

[M]issionaries are actually the greatest catalyst in the development and stability of nations.

Yet not just any missionaries.

Woodberry’s observations only held true for “conversionary Protestants.” That is, missionaries (1) who preached the gospel with the intent of converting others and forming churches, (2) who encouraged everyone to read the Bible in the local language, and (3) who taught that salvation comes by grace through faith.

Doug Ponder, “Are Missionaries Good for the World?” (Nov 8, 2018)

Ponder concludes from Woodberry’s research that making disciples of Jesus Christ is the most effective way to improve the world.

What a blessing for a missionary to have the gift of evangelism or the gift of teaching, but Paul reminds us that there is an even “better way” (1 Cor. 12:31). The most important quality for a missionary is love. If missionaries don’t have love, all their evangelism and teaching is “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor. 13:1). Perhaps their knowledge of apologetics and of theology is deep and profound, but without love, they are “nothing” (1 Cor. 13:2). Yes, there is even deep sacrifice which is not accompanied by love (1 Cor. 13:3).

Thomas R. Schreiner, “The Best ‘Gift’ for Missions” (Nov 8, 2018)

How I’ve Used the Biblical Languages on the Field /

This is a running list of practical ways I’ve used Greek and Hebrew in missions work. This isn’t a list of how I wish to use the languages, but just an honest look at how I have.

  1. I regularly check Greek when I work with Bible translation teams. This happens when there’s a question and discussion about a key term, or when reviewing their work for a consultant check (the final stage of approval by an expert).
  2. I help translation teams to access biblical resources and I occasionally read Greek for them in commentaries.
  3. I occasionally check Greek when teaching a Bible book to pastors. Last fall I taught Titus and this spring, Colossians. This kind of use is for my own benefit and to prepare for the confusion that comes when teaching verse by verse to speakers of another language and with their Bible.
  4. When I teach weekly at church, I read multiple English versions as one way to meditate and study. If there’s a verse with significant differences between the versions, that’s a signal to check the biblical languages.
  5. I use software entirely for biblical languages and resources, not hard copies (Accordance for languages, Logos for commentaries and other references).
  6. I haven’t used Hebrew.
  7. I don’t know Aramaic.

If you’re curious, see Ways I’ve Studied the Biblical Languages on the Field.

John Piper, “Risk Your Kids for the Kingdom? On Taking Children to Unreached Peoples: On Taking Children to Unreached Peoples,” Desiring God (Oct 23, 2017)

Elliot Clark, “6 habits every aspiring missionary needs today,” Southern Equip

The Internet for missionaries can be a force of connection, distraction, or addiction. This article about the effects of online technology on missions and missionaries was both bold and gracious.

Today’s digital technology can either serve as powerful tools to build Christ’s kingdom or devastating weapons aimed at destroying the life and soul of those on mission. …

[P]ressing into the local community in difficult and dangerous places is now twice as hard when the soft pillow of digital inanities constantly beckons. …

Social media, gaming,… pornography …

Each day, thousands of unreached people enter an eternity apart from Christ, while four out of ten of our young men are too entrapped in sexual addiction to bring them the good news of Christ’s freedom.

Even for men and women who have experienced liberation from porn addiction, the temptation remains. Porn is always available on the internet, quietly lurking in the shadows of the same devices that allow them to spend Christmas morning with their grandparents or to share The Jesus Film with a local friend. …

Each year that passes in the digital age, we’re likely to see more precious workers on the mission field who, when testifying to the possibility of freedom from addiction, speak from experience.

Jaclyn S. Parrish, “Missions in the Digital Age: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” International Mission Board (Aug 7, 2017)

“Missionaries Need Local Churches, Too.” /

A missions leader asked me where I was meaningfully involved in a church on the field. Only in the last year of service abroad could I answer that question, and it’s been a good year because of it.

Let’s spur each other on to participation and accountability in a local church. Here’s a timely article I pass on to you, “Missionaries Need Local Churches, Too”:

[M]issionary teams must hold to a biblically robust understanding of the local church. They must obey the biblical imperatives for Christians to be meaningfully involved in local churches — they aren’t exempt simply because of their roles as missionaries.

We — all believers, including missionaries — want to be “members of one another” and understand that we can only plant healthy churches when we submit to a church ourselves.

Read more at…