The Problem With Being Undercover: Introduction.
Since we are working in a creative access country there are a few topics that seem to constantly be on our minds. We think about these things because they are an everyday reality for us. Fear, being undercover, boldness, they are things that we are constantly wrestling over as we seek to make an impact in China. The thoughts in this series are from some notes and observations that I wrote down awhile back. I am just now getting around to developing them into something that is readable.
Creative access countries are those countries that do not give out visas for missionaries and are intolerant of proselytizing. Therefore, a missionary must enter that country through a different means than that of a missionary visa. He is “undercover.”
The theme in the following post have to do with the problems in being undercover. Though this process is necessary for many missionaries to be able to enter different countries there are many bad side effects that come with it. Missionaries should have some basic accountability to encourage him to keep boldly living out the gospel. It is easily to fall into the trap of living the undercover life and our Christians witness is therefore not obvious to those around us. Here is a simple illustration:
My daughter and I play a game called “ tent time.” It basically consist of us running in our bed, grabbing the covers and throwing them over our heads. We hold the covers up with our hands or feet which creates a tent. We are now “under-the-covers.” Nobody can see us and we can’t see anyone else, so we feel safe. My daughter thinks we are safe from the monsters. Now where this comes into an illustration is that if my wife wanted to find us, she wouldn’t have that hard of a time. She could walk into the room and it would be very obvious that we are hiding in our makeshift tent, under-the-covers. Our ministries should have such an impact that it is obvious what we are really there for even though we are “undercover.”
As missionaries we must used different means to get a visa but we should never be lost in that process. It should be very evident to those around us that we are just “under-the-covers” and not lost in our “undercoverness”.
We are the salt of the earth! We are the light of the word! Don’t let your candle be hid under the the bushel of being undercover but boldly placed on a candlestick to give light to all those around you. Light it obvious when it penetrates darkness.
Our Christian witness in creative access countries should be obvious and intentional. This doesn’t mean that we are preaching through a blow horn on the street, giving a prayer card to the local police station, or tract bombing the closest village. But it does mean that we should have a bold plan in place and accountability to accomplish it.
The next four post will consider this problem in the following areas: Personal Ministry, Big Organizations, Supporting Missionaries, and National Workers.