Growing up Protestant (yes, I’m a convert), I had very romantic ideas about missionary work. Guys in safari shirts and pith helmets. Hacking through the underbrush to reach remote villages in faraway places. All to bring them the Gospel.
Even when actual missionaries came to talk about what they did (and reality started to creep in), missionary work was still something that was done “over there.” We sent missionaries to them, because they needed help. We were good. We had this whole Jesus thing down.
A church in the poorer part of town had (and still has) a welcome sign by their parking lot. What makes it stand out is the back of that sign. It’s the last thing people see when they leave that church.
Back in the day, I was pretty dismissive of what I thought was their misguided focus. Turns out they were right all along.
More on this tomorrow.