Tuesday, August 7, 2012

I recently heard my friend David's migration story and to be honest, it made me uncomfortable.

David's family came here from Peru, because they felt called. Legitimately and genuinely called. David's father is a pastor and heard about a church here in Southern California in need, and decided to answer the call by moving his entire family thousands of miles away from home. They were not able to get the proper visas to come legally, but felt strongly that if the Lord was calling them, they must go. 

As I listened to his story and wrestled with my feelings of discomfort, I pretty quickly felt convicted as I began to realize what it was that offended me. 

My initial thought was, "We don't need missionaries. We are the missionaries." I was offended that this family thought God would call them here, as if our country needed them. We are the ones who send missionaries all across the world, often times fudging the truth on our visa applications, claiming to be tourists or coming to do business, and therefor, entering under false pretenses and committing a federal crime. I know I've done it before. But it's ok when we do it, because we are the bearers of truth...of hope...of Christ. God couldn't possibly be calling this family to do something illegal for his Kingdom too, right? 

I admit, friends, I am broken. I am a work in process and have been struggling with my identity as a white, Christian, American and the power and privileged that comes along with that for some time now. It's easy to get sucked into the world's, and sometimes even the church's, perspective of who I am.  "I am the one with the answers. I am the missionary. I am the Savior." As I repented of these feelings and tendencies to see myself as greater than I am, I felt God assure me of my true identity. I am beloved and valuable in His Kingdom, just like David's family who risked it all to minister to my country. 

I invite you into an embarrassing and vulnerable part of my journey, because something tells me I am not the only one who feels this way. I am not the only one who felt offended by David's story. I am not the only one who struggles with a narrow view of the world and God. I have to be willing to accept the fact that if God can call me to do something "illegal" for His Kingdom, then He can most certainly call a family from South America to do the same. We are, after all, given the same value, worth, and purpose through the cross. 

Not to mention that our country probably needs more missionaries than we are comfortable to admit. 


  1. Excellent article, Bethany. I too have entered other countries as a "tourist" rather than say I'm doing mission work, and could easily justify it. This has made me examine my own heart. Thanks.

  2. LOVE this girl:) Thank you so much for sharing and being so open and vulnerable! LOVE THIS! love Katie