When we came to MAF, I, the professional pilot, joined a cutting edge team. Missionaries needed me to reach their ministry sites. The national church needed me in support of their pastoral work. Community Development groups needed me to move engineers. Doctors needed me to deliver them to remote villages. Villagers needed me to take them to the hospital.
Everyday, I dispensed a technological form of God’s grace to aide inhabitants of the Amazon wilds — shamans, children of head-hunters, families barely out of the Stone Age. Physical bodies were healed, relationships restored, souls saved, Christ’s Kingdom advanced. I lived at the point of God’s arrow, awash in significance.
Meanwhile, my wife, Regina, chased our kids, cooked our food, cleaned our house, washed our clothes, and warmed our bed. She flexed her schedule to meet mine, worked when I was gone, and worked more when I was home. She saw her ministry as supporting my ministry. She kept me pointed in the right direction. Without her I would not have made it. But most jungle folks never met her, most supporters didn’t ask for her stories—they wanted mine.
Today it’s different. She’s on the other side of the planet ministering in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. I sit in the office. God sends her around the world to train missionaries and indigenous church leaders how to unpack God’s truth by telling Bible stories and asking questions. I maintain the MAF-Learning Technologies website. Her work plants transformational seeds and opens heart eyes. I tell her stories, not mine (for example, see Plo’s Promise or Oral Strategies Workshops in Sierra Leone.)
On days like today, in the midst of my joy at God’s marvelous work through Regina, I find I miss life at the tip—hair blown back as his dart speeds to its mark. Murky feelings of irrelevance nip at my heels, tempting me with spoiling doubts like: Where’s the vibrance? or Does anyone read what I write?
But then I remember: Jesus talked a lot about least of these folks and little children—not exactly Kingdom movers and shakers—but so important that he came to Earth as one of them. And it hits me: Jesus doesn’t love me more if I hit the bulls-eye, nor love me less if I miss the target. Instead, he asks me only to imitate him as a servant. And that is the point.