I grew up in a Chinese church in Dallas that supported missionaries. Every year, we would have a missions conference, and families serving in China or India or some other seemingly remote place in the world would come to share about what God was doing overseas. One Sunday, when I was still in middle school, a missionary came and shared his testimony with the church. I’m sure everything he said was great, but my mind was somewhere else. All I could think about were the difficulties this guy and his family had to endure. No nice bathrooms, no $2.99 Cici’s pizza, no air-conditioning… and their kids probably didn’t have recess… (clearly, my middle school sensibilities about difficulty were very far-ranging and insightful). After the service ended, I distinctly remember walking out to the back parking lot of my church. The sun was blazing that day, slowly baking all of those Toyota mini-vans, Honda Civics and occasional BMWs that were nestled next to each other in neatly organized rows. Beads of sweat started to form near my forehead. It felt like the temperature was already climbing close to 100 degrees again. Wiping those first droplets off with my hand, I started to make my way back inside. Need air-conditioning, now.
But for a moment before I entered the church again, a thought registered in my mind. Why would anyone ever go on missions?
Lost in my thoughts, I swung open the door. Suddenly, a gust of cold air rushed past me. I walked in, doing my middle school version of cost-benefit analysis. Not a lot of money. No cool toys. And I think the guy mentioned needing to raise money. So lots of costs, but what were the benefits? I couldn’t think of any that day. So as I rounded the corner and saw a few of my friends, I said to myself, “I’m never going to be in ministry.”
Photo Cred: Eddy Van 3000