Missionary Perfection?

Posted on: 
May 5, 2023

One afternoon I hiked ten minutes to our neighbors to ask if I could buy some goat manure. We wanted to plant a small garden plot and some fertilizer would be a help. When I arrived, I noticed his wife who only speaks Tarahumara sitting outside, but the man was nowhere around. I said the usual greetings and commented about the weather, but then I had a problem. I didn’t know the word for manure, and I didn’t know the tense to say I would like to buy…. I was planning that the man would be there and I could have communicated those things in Spanish, but instead I returned home without any fertilizer which went against my desires for good time management. Needless to say, I was a little frustrated! Why? Because I’m human!

Ester has been showing interest in the gospel. After my teammate prayed for her, she claimed her anger problem was a lot less. She attended several Bible studies and carefully listened to every word that was preached. Now for the last two weeks she hasn’t come. I start to worry and doubt. Was she really showing interest in the gospel? Did we do something to offend her? Why do I have all these emotions over one person showing interest in the gospel? Because I’m human!

I glanced at the clock. The morning was flying by, and I wasn’t reaching around. I had promised to take a look at my neighbor’s chainsaw. I needed to listen to some of the audio recordings I had from yesterday and prepare a plan for today’s language session. Oh, and my wife would appreciate if I connected the water hose so that there is enough water to do laundry today. I surveyed my cluttered desk feeling overwhelmed … Because I’m human.

I sat down at my desk. Now I’ll study! But from the next room the sounds of happy play had now changed its tune. “Hopefully my wife is close by,” I thought. Then I remembered that I had promised to keep an eye on them while she went on some errand. Why can’t they just get along rather than fighting over such petty things? Because my children are human.

I have met people that imply that missionaries have reached some plateau of grace above struggle. Surely God is using Bible translators and church planters so mightily that their lives are void of problems and struggles. Just read a few missionary stories. The accounts awe you. Can’t you see the perfection in their lives and the mighty hand of God directing them? … But we are human. We are prone to failure just like you are. At times we become frustrated. Other times we get lonely. Sometimes we desire the normal life in “the States.” Pray for us and our work! Send us an encouraging note or message. Give us a call and ask how we are doing today. But don’t expect that we are perfect because… We are human.

—David S, Tarahumara team

  • “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
  • “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witness of these things.” Luke 24:47, 48
  • “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19
  • “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12:3
  • “That the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the Gospel.” Ephesians 3:6
  • “That they all may be one; as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me.” John 17:21
  • “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations’?” Mark 11:17
  • “Ask of me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance.” Psalm 2:8
  • “Behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes.” Revelation 7:9
  • “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1
  • “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16
  • “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalm 119:105
  • “As cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a far country.” Proverbs 25:25
  • “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10
  • “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You.” Psalm 22:27
  • “Truly, as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD.” Numbers 14:21
  • “Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples. For the LORD is great and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods.” Psalm 96:3, 4
  • “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.” Habakkuk 2:14
  • “That all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other.” 1 Kings 8:60
  • “For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations.” Malachi 1:11
  • “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You, O Lord, and shall glorify Your name.” Psalm 86:9
  • “For as the earth brings forth its bud, as the garden causes the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.” Isaiah 61:11
  • "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" Psalm 46:10
  • "This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 1 Timothy 2:3, 4
  • "You are worthy. . .; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God." Revelation 5:9, 10