AUTHOR: Shari Tvrdik
Eight thousand miles distance between us turns out to be no obstacle to getting together every Wednesday night.
We make it on time each week.
8pm central time....for me.
9am the next day for a couple of them.
Yes, welcome to my world. It's small.
Not because I'm small minded but because on most days I am able to communicate with people living on different parts of our globe as part of my job with Cup of Cold Water Ministries.
Because of this, the world feels very accessible and all of us strangely near one another.
We are essentially one plane ride away from any single event or tragedy witnessed on our screens.
But back to Wednesdays.
Of course, it takes a bit of technology to connect us to one another and we can't pour each other coffee, but it's enough and I'm thankful for it.
The idea came to me a few months back, to utilize the brilliant inventions of smarter people and draw a few of our missionaries together each week, even when oceans separate us.
There were a lot of reasons to get our CCWM missionaries talking, but simply one that stands out to me as the main purpose for our twenty minute gathering.
They are THE less than one percent.
People do research on this kind of thing, and we get to benefit from their findings.
I love that.
The super researchers from the Pew Research Center have told the world that there are a little more than two billion Christians globally (all Catholic, Protestant, etc.,).
Of these two billion believers in Jesus there are four hundred thousand missionaries.
I did the math on this one myself (ok with the help of our intelligent communications assistant Katie) and the result was this: Less than one percent of Believers become missionaries.
Their faces, all three pop up right there before me on my computer screen.
Siew Ling, serving to better the story of orphans in various parts of Asia.
Lily, called to the street boys in Bolivia.
Tuvsho, reaching out to the emerging adults living without parents or family in Mongolia
One by one they connect to the call.
The sight of them brings so much hope my heart can feel it.
You know that song, "What makes you beautiful?" by One Direction? They sing about a girl who has no idea how beautiful she, and that is what makes her beautiful.
That's pretty much how I feel about our missionaries.
*you totally have my permission to pause here and sing your heart out.
They have no idea how rare and amazing they really are, and it's probably a good thing.
But I tell them anyway.
They need to know that if they are feeling a little lonely or a bit un-relatable....it's because they are.
There are not a whole lot of other Believers like them.
Well, there are 399,000 other Believers like them, but spread around the big spinning globe, that can make you feel a bit like an almost extinct buffalo, (sorry ladies...gazelle) .
The statistics tell us what we already feel, it's not that common to be called to full time missions.
When my husband and I were on the mission field we were introduced by a Western Pastor as, "Radicals." I remember on our walk home we sort of mulled over the idea that we were radicals. At first we denied it, concluding that the Pastor had it wrong, but by the time we opened our front door we had accepted the idea that yep, even in church, even in the peer group of full time ministry workers we missionaries were...odd balls.
So each Wednesday I gather these three of our CCWM missionaries together because they need one another. All three women have been called into full time "radical" living specifically to bring the Gospel to the orphan and abandoned children. It would be a crying shame to not have them collaborate, discuss and debrief their week with one another. The less than one-percent-ers should discover they are not alone in their Great Commission endeavor.
Usually they laugh.
Often they cry.
Sometimes they yawn.
But...always, it's good to be together.
If you're reading this as a less than one-percent-er, may I be the one to tell you today...you're amazing.
Find another less than one-percent-er and invest in one another. A wise guy once said:
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12
If you're a pastor reading this and you have a LESS THAN one-percent-er in your congregation....get excited. It's a rare thing. Get behind them, support them, SEND THEM. If you have more than one, then may I ask what on earth are you preaching?? It's working!
If you're a supporter of a LESS THAN one-percent-er, DO NOT STOP. Missionaries won't tell you this but they are lonely, they are tired, they are easily discouraged at times, they need you to hold up your end of the mission. YOU ARE HIGHLY VALUED.
And if you are none of the above....
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