After being driven back from missions in Africa for the third time, Peter Cameron Scott was clueless on what he should do. Malaria had struck him again and again. On the last trip it had even taken his brother, who now lies buried in the red, African soil. Yet, now he found himself at the gravestone of that famous missionary: David Livingstone. Inscribed on it he read John10:16 – “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice.” Filled with determination, Mr. Scott set out for Africa once again.
Last weekend I attended the “Mission Day” – an event organised by Ethnos360. The aforementioned anecdote was one of many that really struck with me. I reckon we were around twenty people gathering in a large church, with at least an additional sixty watching the live stream. I mainly attended so that I could get to know the organisation better, but the two hour long presentation was really encouraging. The speaker gave a passionate talk about missions. Using anecdotes to bounce back and forth between Matthew 9:35-38 and John 10:16.
He was followed by a multitude of short videos from Dutch missionaries working in the field. Some were working at the frontier: living with a tribe in order to translate the Bible to their language and plant a church. Others had completed planting a church, but were still working from home in order to translate the Old Testament as well. Yet others were working in supporting roles. One of the videos was made by a man who works as a mechanic at the missions airport in Papua New Guinea. However, even from this supporting role he actively engaged in the great commission by having a local man work with him, and teaching him about God alongside the work.
There was also a participant of the first year at the Bible school. What I found amazing is when he told about the way assignments are marked. Apparently, every statement must be backed up by Bible verses. If an argument is made without an accompanying Bible verse, it is simply marked with a bunch of question marks next to it. This is exactly what I am expecting to find in a Bible school, so I am getting evermore excited about the road ahead.
Oh, and as for Peter Cameron Scott, it would be his last time setting out for Africa. On December 1896, age 29, he died of malaria. I’ll leave you with the same question the speaker asked: “Did Mr. Scott live a purposeful life?”