Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you,and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people, for not all have faith. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
Alan was part of a student missionary group tasked to nourish the planted college movement in one university in Central Luzon. The group started their journey by taking a bus from one province to another. Alan fell asleep as he was seated at the back of the vehicle. He was known to have that infamous skill. Along the way, the bus swayed and fell on the lower romp of the road. The abrupt stoppage gave Alan a flight from the back to the front of the bus. He was brought to a village clinic that had no facilities to give him emergency health care.
A contingent from where the missionary students came went to get Alan for medical purposes. Fortunately, the top-down car was to used as a emergency vehicle due to lack of funds. Alan, in the midst of pain in his head, had to face the dark starry sky during the transport for about three hours. At the hospital, doctors diagnosed him to have cut lip, broken nose and teeth loss. For this, he stayed at the hospital for weeks.
This is one among what missionaries face everyday. To bring the word of the Lord speed forward, they risk their lives on the line. If we look into this, more than physical harm, the rejection of their work is the most lethal. When they deliver the word of God or the work of God to a hostile place or people, they are abused verbally or mocked publicly by perverse and wicked people. Not all will like what they do. Not all will appreciate what they do. Yet, they respond to their call. They go ahead. They speed forward.
Paul is directing us that we can share in their work by praying for them. Spreading the word of God is all our responsibility. When God asks who can do it to this unfamiliar place or to that a non-Christian territory, missionaries raise their hands without thinking twice and with fiery fervor. As they go ahead to answer God’s call, we bend our knees for God’s grace to be upon them. As they open their mouths to proclaim God’s word, we open our mouths to plead for God’s blessings for them. As they come face to face with challenges, we come face to face with God on their behalf.
And Alan? Please pray for him, he speeds forward the word of God as an SVD missionary priest out in East Timor, Indonesia. Please pray for missionaries.