“I will send you far away”, Acts 22:21.

I am now reading Acts and was struck by this phrase in Apostle Paul’s speech before a very ugly crowd in Jerusalem.  When he adds another word “Gentiles”, the crowd roars.  Angry.  It becomes an uncontrollable situation.  The authorities step in.

Mission work sends us away some distance.  It may be miles.  It may be religious, cultural, social.

This six word phrase from Acts (NRSV translation) causes my soul to look back and “wonder how I got over” to serving as an urban missionary.  As someone born in Tokyo, raised in the woods of northern Minnesota, living my entire adult life in major American cities, adding gospel music to my formal training in classical music.  How did I get over?

I face no roaring crowd.  Instead, I am rather unnoticed.  I can’t say I prefer it another way.

But mission has sent me away.  Different places, people, ways of experiencing life.  I trust that for some of you, too.