I’m 20,000 feet above somewhere between Nashville and Phoenix, making last minute tweaks to sermon notes, bible studies, and daily schedules. There are 23 others aboard this plane who should be reading their travel devotion and looking over their teaching books, as they prepare to teach the gospel to Native Americans on a reservation outside Phoenix, along with Congolese refugees in Phoenix.
But there is a girl at home who is doing none of that. She is not working on her testimony or memorizing four steps to share the gospel. She is not wearing a team shirt, toting a carry-on, or taking selfies at the airport. No, this girl is not on this “mission trip”, but if it were not for her, neither would I.
This week, like many weeks, my wife will serve as the forgotten missionary. She will not be in any of the videos or make any of the photo albums. She will not get the thrill of crossing cultures to share the gospel. She will not fill her journal with forever memories of an epic adventure.
Instead, this week she will be changing diapers, washing clothes, cooking meals, cleaning house, and completely emptying herself for the betterment of three boys. Instead, this week my wife will spend her time serving missionary work that will far outlast one week in July. Because this week my wife will invest in three boys, all under the age of 5, who we pray will one day change the world.
So at the beginning of another mission trip that will get tweeted (and retweeted), facebooked, youtubed, and instagramed, I want to acknowledge one who will go unnoticed and under appreciated this week: my wife. And I want to say thank you for staying, so I could go.
Katie, this week you will serve the Kingdom of Christ behind closed doors with screaming voices, snotty noses, and constant demands for more chocolate milk. But do not think your work is in vain or unnoticed. For the same Lord who will fix his eyes on our missionary work in the desert, will also have His eyes fixed on a little house in Almo, because in both places He will be glorified and His kingdom will be magnified.
So here’s to you, forgotten missionary. I’m holding the rope for you.