I’m recently obsessed with missionary stories. Heidi Baker, Mother Teresa, and Amy Carmichael are the current favorites. I have honored and revered them. The world has “sainted” them. However, the more I learn about these epic women, the more normal they look, and it is giving me hope.
How did Mother Teresa start her outreach? How did she begin a hospital for those dying on the streets? How did she start a home for unwanted children and a city for lepers? It all began when Jesus said,
“You must do something.”¹
She saw the poor of India and heard the call. There was no commissioning. No trumpets from heaven. Just the simple voice of God to do something. How cool is that?
In her book Compelled by Love, Heidi Baker writes,
“Some of you may think ministry is a grand adventure. Ministry, however, is simply about loving the person in front of you.”²
Come on. That’s so simple.
Amy Carmichael felt called to go to China. She got all prepped and put all her belongings in a ship sea chest. The last thing on her list–get approved by the mission organization’s doctor to go. She went to the appointment, and the doctor DIDN’T APPROVE HER. She had to pack her things, and go back home. The chest sat waiting in her room.³
She failed. Did she hear the voice of God in the first place? I don’t know, but isn’t that the best thing you have ever heard? It is so darn relatable. My life is full of disappointed hopes and failures, and so is Amy Carmichael’s.
Mother Teresa didn’t start her actual calling until she was thirty-eight years old. Take that “28 year-old -I-am-doing-nothing-with-my-life-phobia!” I’ve got a good ten years until I need to get “going.”
So, I’M EXACTLY LIKE Mother Teresa, Amy Carmichael, and Heidi Baker. Ha! It’s hilarious to write that line. However, their stories are telling me that living for Jesus is A LOT more simple than I thought. It takes a lot longer than I’ve expected.
Yeah. Maybe, I’m like them. But then, I read this quote by Mother Teresa,
“When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.”¹
Yikes. This one too—
“A child is a gift of God. If you do not want him [the child], give him to me. I will look after him.”¹
Mother Teresa wasn’t kidding either. She took in any child that was unwanted.
Then, I think,
“Yeah… I’m not like them at all.”
P.S. The amazing and talented Mikelah Hammond wrote the hand-lettering featured on this post!
P.P.S. Here’s a bibliography.