The most difficult missionary journey an individual will ever take is the one that is accepted and taken without the purchase of airfare, sea fare, or toll.

The journey mentioned above is far more challenging because while it requires no layovers; it does afford its travelers to stop as often as they must, take all the time they need, and never make it to their port of call if they so choose. You see, this is the one journey that’s not about its traveler’s arrival, but about the ‘process of the traveler’ on the trip.

This journey, if measured in inches is minuscule in its distance, and yet it spans a universe of years in time traveled.  What is the trip, you ask?

The journey of a pastor who is at once called to become a missionary.

I am extremely fortunate to have been one traveler who’s been entrusted to make such a trip.

In a matter of a one week, a herculean storm with its wind and rain, ravaged a people, flooding their levee’s, breaking their dams, and leveling their life-long dreams.  As a result, my city became their refuge; our church became their safety, so much so that in a matter of weeks I stood in a building I had labored with my life to build, to preach to a large number of people I had not known. I found myself a son of Jerusalem living among a Corinthian people. My appetites were not theirs, my customs were not theirs, my appearance was not theirs, my designs and desires were not theirs.

Suddenly, a coiffed and cloistered Jerusalemite was a man in a strange land; yet I had not packed an overnight bag nor driven an extra mile. My missionary message was now more than a missiological idea, it became the utility of my communion with new people. In a matter of months, I was the “stranger” residing in my motherland.  And yet, without a doubt, it’s one of the greatest adventures I’ve ever been invited on.

I determined not to allow the distance between my ears to become the one journey I could not muster the fortitude to make. No, I took it. I made it. I purposed to leave all that was ‘known’ to ‘go’ to my brethren in Corinth. Yes, while their customs were different, their souls were the same; we were all hungry for the Savior we both claimed.

So friend, while your current situation/circumstances may checker your life with a diversity of tongues, styles and even methodology that may be different from where you began, I encourage you to take the nail-printed Hand of your Guide. Let Him lead you to people who’s hearts are yearning for His Word, His Spirit, His Life; longing to become His fire-baptized bride.

Wendell Hutchins II

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