Kenny and Heather Haggard

What is a missionary? Not this.

What is a missionary? Not this.

What is a missionary? Not this.

Heather would be appalled first at the grammar! This seems to be an automatically generated T-Shirt design based on my own Facebook profile which at least explains the grammar…maybe. But the tagline whether or not it specifically was meant for a missionary is something else!¬†(p.s. originally I spelled “grammar” grammer, so I don’t get too hung up on that kind of stuff.. is spelling even grammar?)

“I solve problems you don’t know you have in ways you can’t understand”

Wow! Bring me that guy!

That is NOT a missionary! At least I am not that missionaries. Let’s get exegetical…

“I solve problems” – Nope, God does that, I get to walk alongside people in the midst of some really tough stuff in a really tough place. Tonight was spent driving from Drenova through a mini snowstorm to the Hospital in Korce and then to a village for a family whose wife is ¬†paralyzed, on top of that she has been sick for a month or so with a bad cough on top of that she’s pregnant on top of that she has a mildly sick 2-year old. I can’t solve those problems.

“you don’t know you have” – Most everybody I meet is well aware something isn’t right. It’s the diagnosis that is off. The explanation is external rather than internal. Most Albanians want to flee to America or Germany but the only problem is this: you are you wherever you are. If you are not content now, chances are you won’t be content later. If you can’t find joy in relationships, money will exacerbate that and lead to an ever darker place. Have issues with anger? A better house will not change that. Stress out? America will burn you up. It’s not the ignorance of the problems but the ignorance of the root causes deep within every individual, brokenness.

“in ways you can’t understand” – The Gospel is the simplest message of all time! Someone else paid your debt. History demonstrates that the poor are more likely to respond to the Gospel than the rich because they of all people can understand their powerlessness in the face of oppressive systems and are simple enough to trust that God can do something for them and will take of care of them. The sick person needs a doctor. I will never underestimate the capacity of any people group to come to a deep understanding and appreciation of the Gospel and what Jesus did on the cross. At the same time it so rich that as we grow in faith we see more and more facets of the Gospel that just keep on going and connecting with our own experiences that make it even more magnificent. How is that possible?!?

So I can walk through problems with you, I can point you to the source of life who will give life, it is freely available and doesn’t depend on human wisdom or multiple degrees hanging on a wall. But I am not the answer. God said it clearly to Moses, “I am”.

I’m a Missionary.

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