When I was very young, for me the word missionary meant the people who were in Africa or at a poor part of the world helping the underprivileged be part of something bigger, help them live their life to the fullest. When I was a bit older and met Shalom Community, I was still thinking somewhat the same, as being from Europe the Covenant Community was something like a myth, knowing that exists, but not understanding what that is.
I am a missionary now in the Covenant Community. And as much as my old thoughts about being a missionary have changed, I now also know that it is truly almost the same thing, only in different circumstances.
I am not in a foreign country, where others look at me and instantly know that I am there to do something for them. I don’t necessarily have a job that has a very visible result and brings instant change to others’ lives.
But what I imagined as a child is still true: I am here to help others be part of something bigger, to help them live their life to the fullest.
Because as a missionary that is what I do. God and his plan for salvation is the biggest thing I can help people to, and being part of this plan, experiencing His love is the best way I can help anyone.
Missionary in the homeland
Being a missionary in my own country is really just like being a missionary anywhere. Though naturally the challenges are different: being accepted by the people you know, your family, your colleagues. Explaining again and again that no,
it doesn’t mean that you are on the next plane to a remote part of the world, but yes, you are part of the Church and part of a community where you have to follow some rules.
And it especially doesn’t mean that you only help the poor in the financial sense. Entering the Covenant Community doesn’t mean losing touch with your friends or family, but showing them even more deeply that life with Jesus is a better life. Making them see this is, yes, a big challenge.
Although it is often difficult, being a missionary in my homeland is a gift from God. People are curious, and when you mention that you are in fact a missionary, they are always interested in what that means, and why someone in a Catholic country decides to be one.
I am a missionary. I was called to be a missionary here, in my country in Europe. Some were called to be missionaries in their homeland, some were called to distant lands. But we were all called for the same thing:
to be guidelights for other people on their way, to help them find the best thing in their life, and that is God.