The Story Connection
Mission stories,” we call them, and for more than 150 years, Seventh-day Adventists around the globe have eagerly gathered around the one who knew the tales of God’s power at work in places exotic or far away. Dense tropical jungles bloom in the imagination; shining angels protect believers from wild animals or fierce warriors; and obstacles bigger than the Iron Curtain fall to the steady advance of the gospel. One common thread unites 10,000 stories: the mustard seed grows; the kingdom expands; the Day approaches.
You will find another fascinating mission story in this month’s cover feature, “The Witch Doctor and the Preacher.” Told by a longtime missionary, it reaches back into the revered history of Adventist mission in South America and brings the tale powerfully to the present.
As with every good story, this one will remind you of another tale—one that you know better than anyone else—a story of how the kingdom is growing because your life is surrendered to the Lord of mission. For mission stories are no longer measured by how far away they happened or how many oceans the storyteller has crossed. Mission stories—at least the ones that heaven pays attention to—begin on your street, in your village, in your apartment complex. The “tweet” you send, the simple tract you give a neighbor, or the conversation you have at the local market becomes the stuff of heaven’s most engaging stories. The Lord who taught so much in stories loves nothing better than taking your faithfulness and connecting it with the stories of others in your church or community who are yielding their hearts and hands to Him. I can imagine that there exists somewhere in heaven a great wall of stories on which all the connections we don’t yet see—but will someday know—are written, cherished, and applauded.
“We are each a tale of mercy; We are each an act of grace,” the hymnwriter reminded us. This month, as you read a heartwarming mission story, resolve to also be the mission story that heaven will one day eagerly tell about your service.