When we lived in Mozambique, Africa, we went to Marromeu a small village at the border of the Zambezi river about 1.500 km from the capital city of Maputo where we resided, in order to visit a new work of the Salvation Army. We went to lead the acceptance of new members and were surprised to enroll more than 50 soldiers in just one meeting.
At the end of the day while leaving Marromeu by a narrow dirt road parallel to the river, I saw a plaque which read: “Mary Livingstone died in the river 50 meters from this location”. Mary was the wife of Dr. David Livingstone, a Scottish physician, explorer and missionary who ministered in Africa at the end of the 19 century and is considered by many as one of the most important missionaries to step in that continent.
When I read that plaque, I had chills. What an honor to follow through pathways previously travelled by people with such commitment to the gospel transmission. In fact, Mrs. Livingstone died with malaria far away from her country while accompanying her husband travelling down the Zambezi river.
Although the prototype of a missionary is the one who goes to another country, it is possible to be a missionary without leaving its own people or land. One can be a missionary by simply transmitting the gospel to the people of its own context and surroundings. Sometimes is even harder to preach to known than to unknown people.
It is important to understand that, in our city and neighborhood, in our academic or professional environment, including in our family, there are creatures to who Jesus sent his disciples to preach the gospel. As imperative as sharing Jesus with people of other countries is to share him with people of our own country. No matter where, it is always an honor to be Christs ambassador.
(The gospel to all creature, Mark 16:15 – The gospel to all citizens, Romans 1:16)