Feature

Unsung Heroes

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It’s highly likely their names won’t be mentioned on CNN tonight or their faces appear on the cover of People magazine. From a human standpoint, they are quite ordinary and may even go unnoticed by those around them. They may be 8, 28, 48 or 88 years old. Who are these lovely people?

These are the dear folk (young and old) who mention my name to Jesus when they pray. They do the “behind the scenes” hard work that often goes unnoticed—except in heaven. In my book, they will always be superstars and unsung heroes! They are the kids who ask Jesus “to be near Miss Erin in Argentina” as they say their nightly prayers. They are the Alliance Women’s groups scattered around the country who lift up international workers to the Lord. They are individuals who write and ask me to tell them specific prayer needs for me, my colleagues or our field.

They are also people whom I will call “Doug and Lois.” I met this couple in New Hampshire last year. While on missionary tour, I was invited to Doug and Lois’s house for dinner. Before we sat down at the table, however, I discovered a treasure in their home.

Doug and Lois know some of my missionary colleagues. They also know missionaries in Central Asia, Kosovo, Mali, Mexico—you name a country, and this couple probably is acquainted with a missionary working there. Doug and Lois have never left the United States, but in their communion with our Heavenly Father, they have spanned the globe.

Beside a recliner in their living room sits a little box filled with 3 × 5 cards. Each card is imprinted with a thumbnail photo of a missionary along with the dates that Doug and Lois prayed for that person and updates on the work and worker. Doug and Lois have tracked the lives of Alliance international workers for years! Only in heaven will saints like these see what a difference their talks with God have made.

Let’s be honest. Missionary life can be hard. Life in general can be hard. Jesus said it would be. As I make connections with teens and young adults here in Buenos Aires, the assurance that people care enough about me and Argentine souls to stop and pray for us means so much!

One of my coworkers used to say that he and his girlfriend were like “two pieces of a two-piece puzzle”—they just weren’t meant to be apart. This is precisely how I see the task of world missions. Those who pray and those who go are on equal ground. We are on the same team as we work the field of souls. We’re like peanut butter and jelly, Batman and Robin, Snoopy and Charlie Brown. One is just unimaginable without the other. I couldn’t be here in Argentina without you bending your knees. So I just wanted to write and say thanks.

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