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Looking Back: Could You be a Missionary?

A plea from the Foreign Mission in October 1958


Pic - A missionary joiner at work.

What Makes You Think You Can’t Be A Missionary?

It’s a straight question. What makes you think you can’t be a missionary?

Not long ago, a butcher in his working apron walked in to the Church Offices at 121 George Street and asked to see someone about foreign mission work. Today he is out in Calabar in charge of stores administration at the Hope Waddell Institution.

Married, and aged 57, he had his own business in Edinburgh and was doing well in his own line. But as a Christian he was not finding the satisfaction he was looking for. He wanted full-time work for the Church. An article in a daily newspaper provided the link.

A 48–year-old sales representative for a biscuit firm earning £1,400 a year felt the same way as the butcher. He saw a notice in Life and Work. Now he is out in Nyasaland doing schools administrative work. He is married with a family who have gone with him.

A 30-year-old engineer with the National Coal Board is in Nyasaland with his wife and little boy. His desire for full-time Church work had been aroused, or part at least, by parish mission work.

An Airdrie joiner, 29, didn’t realise that there would be any openings for his trade under the Church until he read about it in a church publication. Now he is in Calabar.

A 52-year-old chartered accountant with the Hydro-Electric board is now a missionary accountant at Calabar.

These are all ordinary church members still doing a job they have been trained to do, but doing it for the Church abroad.

All were doing well in their own line but they were not satisfied.

None started off thinking of themselves as missionaries. They merely wanted to give more service to the Church. None had been content to be merely “church attenders”.

All, save one, are married. The wives are as keen as their husbands and willing to face a new way of life in a strange land.

They will suffer financial loss because church members do not give enough. But all will receive a furnished house and have their passage out paid. Their “lines” will be transferred from their Scottish congregations to an overseas one.

These men and their families go out to what are virtually key positions in building up the Christian communities in these lands. They go out for initial periods of from two to five years.

Vacancies still to be filled include a builder for Northern Rhodesia, a male book-keeper for Nyasaland and another for Calabar.

And of course, as always, ministers, doctors, nurses and teachers are in short supply.

What makes you think you can’t be a missionary?


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