image by Tevei Renvoye from Unsplash
The Johnsons are some of the most down-to-earth, courageous, and inspiring missionaries I have had the honour to know, and I've had the privilege of knowing many. Trevor and Teresa Johnson and their family have been serving in Papua, Indonesia, for years. We had them over at my home many years ago during one of their stopovers in Singapore and they certainly made an impact on me. To start with, little Noah was running around happily without shoes and catching lizards (or chichaks) with wild abandon, an eye-opener to us tame city kids, but certainly looking a lot happier than we were in our strap sandals!
In fact, we still have a homemade awl/axe--a stone head bound onto the handle with rattan, from Papua which they somehow managed to bring over as a present for us (talk about sensational gifts! Fruits, flowers, cakes are passe.) Still one of the most valued gifts we've received from the many diverse guests we've had the honour of having over the years.
It's been years since then but I regularly get email updates from the Johnsons, and I always look forward to it. For someone in my situation, living comfortable upper middle class lives in first world Singapore with all the expectations and priorities of first-world living standards, it's good to get some perspective. Sometimes after reading the updates I sit back and feel myself coming back to earth with a tangible bump! Truly an eye-opener. Sometimes, a sobering one. And we need it, we need a good wake-me-up from our increasingly narrow-minded--passive--complacent--entitled-- indifferent--discontented "lives of unmitigated selfishness" to use an Elizabeth Elliot quote.
Do check out the Johnsons's blog. I find myself invariably encouraged, as well as challenged--even by the most depressing and sobering updates; being reminded that God's people are serving in real, sacrificial ways, doing something about the many needs and wounds of the world.
And consider how, if God so moves you, you could do something to help them--whether by praying, some form of financial help (and there are so many needs in their many ministries) or even by going over and helping them in person for short-term trips, as has been happening recently.
May God continue to raise up people in all parts of the world, gifting them with courage, strength, and endurance--but most importantly, His love.
a small voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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