When you hear the word “missionary”, what comes to mind? In Sabbath School, the very little children sing “A boat goes sailing to the mission land…” and they love to come up with things for the missionaries to bring to all the children far away: Bibles, doctors, teachers, medicine….
A few years ago, I was privileged to meet a missionary with a true heart for service. Alone or as part of a team, Wendy Harris is a missionary in the fullest sense of the word. It is obvious by the experiences she shares that God is in her heart and blessing her efforts.
In His strength, she has been through all the things you might expect–and perhaps some that you would not even consider had you not been a missionary yourself–or heard some of her miraculous stories. Hiking in the jungle mountains for hours at a time to reach a person in need, battles with malaria, encounters with demon possession, fasting and praying, miracle after miracle in God’s perfect timing to supply all their need, a helicopter and a 4-wheel-drive truck…these are all part of Wendy’s amazing Spirit-led life.
A heavenly assignment does not have to be “big” to be important, though. Recently, Wendy shared a precious comment with her Facebook friends. Regarding her neighborhood children, she said: “…I could understand them telling their parents that ‘Auntie Wendy used to read us stories about Jesus’. Pray for me!”
You see, Wendy has another missionary role perhaps not quite as glamorous, but no less worthy or rewarding than that of her other roles. Wendy, like Jesus, is a friend of children, too; and as part of this “role”, she has felt impressed to pick the Bible stories back up and read them to the little ones near her.
This missionary endeavor is one that any one of us, led by God’s Spirit, could learn from. Perhaps an informal gathering such as this could be a fruitful complement to our other child ministry efforts in our own neighborhood.
Wendy’s equipment is simple: paper and pencils or pens, Bible story books, a puppet dog named “Toby”, a love for God, and a knowledge of His word.
The neighborhood children joyfully gather to hear Auntie Wendy tell them stories about Jesus. Their mommies interpret the words into their native language. Auntie Wendy gives them Bible verses to learn and the children write them out on their own piece of paper.
Most importantly, the children are learning about Jesus and getting a taste of His loving presence.
The Spirit that Wendy has is the same Spirit offered to you and me. “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13) “Ask and it shall be given you“!