Sunday, November 16, 2008

A missionary hypothetical

If you are a missionary overseas in a closed country and are just beginning to see real fruit in your ministry, yet also have an ageing single mother who can no longer look after herself, how would you put this verse into practice?

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God
1 Timothy5:3-4

Assume you have no brooders and sisters, or they are all overseas as well, and there is no other family there to look after her. What do you do?


shanerogerson said...

obey scripture, God is sovereign and send someone else for the work, whereas there is no one else for mum.

geoffc said...

I'm in no way arguing for this, but what would you say to someone who says; "my mum is being looked after in a nursing home. She's fed, clothed and given all her medication"?

What does caring for our mums and grandmums look like?

Anonymous said...

hey geoff, this is something i was really challenged on in india, as caring for the olds is done really well there. i think that caring for my parents if they were no longer independent is one of the only things that would bring me back from the mission field. i see this as my responsibility to my parents. until then the challenge for me is to care for my 'parents' in my church family, something that i'm not so good at, but perhaps equally my responsibility as caring for my own parents?
and don't get me started on nursing homes... ;)
(damn it geoff, stop assisting my procrastination!)

Philip said...

Hi Geoff,

This is no hypothetical. We have had a few people go home for this very reason. Along with kids' education, the needs of ageing parents is one of the main family reasons people need to leave the field. Some mission societies have ministries to serve parents to try to delay this as long as possible.

(It's another reason to get people on the field as young as possible while their parents are still healthy.)