Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Adoniram Judson: Being a missionary

"I want to be a missionary. Now what?" Here, in paraphrase, is the advice Adoniram Judson, American mission pioneer, gave to a missionary association in New York:
  1. Be a missionary for life, not for a limited term.
  2. Select a healthy and good-natured spouse.
  3. Don't be overzealous to do good on board ship and thereby get in the way.
  4. Take care that you are not weakened by the hardships you will face during the preparation and travel to your destination.
  5. Don't judge the local Christians in your field of labor before you know their language and understand their culture. You will undoubtedly be disappointed when you first arrive and may regret that you came, but don't let first impressions dishearten or embitter you.
  6. Don't let fatigue and frustration tempt you into seeking retreat or focusing on tasks that distract from real missionary work.
  7. Beware of pride arising from your good reputation and guard against it by openly confessing your shortcomings.
  8. Trust God in all things; don't lay up money for yourselves.
  9. Exercise to maintain your health.
  10. Avoid excessive socializing with other Westerners and don't try to keep up a fashionable lifestyle that will separate you from the people you are there to serve.