What is the Great Commission? With all power given Him, Jesus tells us to go make disciples of all nations, gloriously changing them forever in character and reality by God’s grace and power. How does adventure fit in? As author Rebecca Friday tells us, “God commands His children to leave the safety of home to go into hellish places by the power of the Gospel until Christians have discipled every nation, and every nation rises to its calling in Christ.” Service to God is always a life of adventure, but no service is more adventurous than foreign missions.
Friday calls herself “an Unlikely Missionary.” Perhaps everyone surrendered to God’s will in the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has sometimes felt “unlikely.” We all, saved by grace, are unlikely candidates for contributing to God’s awesome drama of redemption. We must come away from times of dedicated service to God with a keen awareness of our powerlessness and God’s limitless power. We’re left marveling at Him. He gets all the glory. We are weak so He can be strong.
Friday demonstrates through this unfolding of her missionary life how God shows up to use the unlikely to fulfill His purposes, so that He receives His rightful glory. Friday becomes the unlikely translator, the unlikely comforter, the unlikely serenader, administrator, driver, life-saving prayer warrior, and more. As she learns that missions is not about fulfilling a personal bucket list, she allows God to use her in unexpected ways where she is most needed. Most importantly, we learn with her how love changes lives.
Friday’s messy real-life encounters in the mission field reach deep into our hearts and touch us with their poignancy. But more than that, they teach us what the Great Commission really means and how the Church can do better at fulfilling this commission. With every chapter, Friday draws us into contemplation of the broader issues raised by her experiences. She generously honors those who taught her. Through their lives of sacrifice and surrender to God and willingness to touch the uncomfortable reality of poverty and corruption, they became the hands of Jesus to the most needy. Though qualifying her role as missionary with the word unlikely, Rebecca Friday can count herself among those rare servants of God.