I met some brilliant people in Africa. Brave people. James Bond meets global missions kind of people. I wish I was exaggerating just to make it sound cool, but many of the teams we spent time with can’t have their names or faces posted on social media or even in a blog like this one. It’s dangerous. It’s the real deal.
These missionaries don’t just live amongst people who have never heard the Gospel, they live amongst people who are hostile to the message of Gospel.
One wrong move or careless conversation and they could be thrown out of the community or perhaps far worse. We were asked to avoid using certain words in public (pastor, missionary, church), and more than once our walking paths through town would subtly separate to avoid any unnecessary association (a technique usually reserved for my teenage daughter).
These heroic people are part of a resurgent missions movement called Live Dead; teams of missionaries creatively and courageously taking the message of Jesus into places it hasn’t gone yet (and often isn’t welcome). You can follow their “encoded” posts on Facebook by clicking here.
I’ll admit, I had a little fun daydreaming I was Jack Bauer and Ethan Hunt, but I got to go home at the end of the week. My inconvenience was temporary, their’s was not. So in a candid moment with the team leader of the area they call “Camel’s Milk,” I asked how often fear was his companion. His answer took me back:
“The day I start to fear them is the day I lose my love for them.”
I couldn’t jot that one down in my journal fast enough, the Apostle John’s words ringing in my ears:
“There is no fear in love. Instead, perfect love drives fear away.”
–1 John 4:18 (NIRV)
“Please pray that we never, ever lose that love,” our newfound friends asked as we tearfully said goodbye. And so we did. And will continue.
Do you want to live with less fear? Sounds like the remedy might be to live with more love.