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What does it mean to be a missionary?

Here is a dramatic true story about missionary life.

In 1962, missionaries Don and Carol Richardson went to New Guinea to bring the Good News of Christ to a group of people known as the Sawi. The Sawi were a headhunting, cannibalistic tribe who used the skulls of their victims as pillows. Don wrote a book about his experiences called “Peace Child” that became a movie of the same name (1972).

Don began his work among the Sawi by reading through the Gospel of Matthew. But to his consternation (dismay), when he got to the part of Judas betraying Christ, everyone cheered. He did not realize their culture was built around treachery. The one who was the most devious was the one who had the most respect in their tribe. The missionary searched for every possible means to explain the greatness of God’s gift of truth and pure love to a people whose values were based on deceit.

Then one day Don witnessed a solemn ceremony between two warring tribes. One of the chiefs walked over to the other and handed him a child. In fact, it was the chief’s own son. Their custom had been that peace could come between two tribes only if the chief of one of the tribes would give his son over to the people of the other tribe. He was called the “peace child.” The chief would place his own son in the hands of a people who hated him and had been his enemies. It was the only way to bring peace between them.

Richardson saw in this act the perfect bridge to help these people understand what God had done. God had given his “peace child” into the hands of a hostile world in order to bring the hostility between us to an end. The angels said at his birth: “Peace on earth, good will toward men” (Luke 2:14).

What does it mean to be a missionary? It has been explained in various ways: “A missionary is someone who crosses cultural barriers in order to share the gospel and make disciples.” Or “A missionary is a person who leaves everything behind and goes overseas to serve the Lord in a foreign cultural context and share His love with others.” The second definition certainly describes the mission work of Joyce Kitano (see below). But the first one applies to us all.

The Lord is looking for people who will cross oceans to share the Good News of salvation with people. But He is also looking for people who will cross the street, and that applies to every Christian. Will you be willing to share the story of Jesus with your neighbor, coworker, or classmate? What cultural barriers where you live are you willing to cross to be able to share the Gospel with those who do not know Jesus? Ethnic barriers? Lifestyle barriers? Age-related barriers? Social status barriers? Prejudice barriers? There are many barriers that can separate us but Jesus came to break down every wall (Ephesians 2:14; Galatians 3:28).

No matter what other titles you may have – son, daughter, dad, mom, student, carpenter, plumber, etc – you are also a Missionary. And you have beautiful feet! “How lovely...are the feet of him who brings good news...” (Isaiah 52:7).


This Sunday, May 1, Missionary Joyce Kitano will share with us her ministry among university students as the Director of Chi Alpha Ministries in Japan. Growing up in Hawaii, she has served in Japan for over 33 years. Joyce will also give a praise report about the miracle healing the Lord has recently done for her. Please join us at 10:35am in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream to both locations every Sunday morning.

Coming Up: Our next Drive-Thru Prayer outreach will be Saturday, May 7, from 1-3pm. Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 8. All women who attend will receive a special gift, plus my wife and mother of my children, Shirley Ashpole, will be ministering the Word. Last, if you are interested in being baptized in water, please let me know.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday. Please join us in person if you can or Online if you can’t. Get ready to be blessed and to be a blessing!

Aloha ke Akua!


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