A gifted mind, years of medical training and an alphabet of letters after his name took Alfred Bramwell Cook to India. A desire to teach and a heart to serve took Laura Dutton to Africa. A pioneering spirit and a spade took Dorothy Elphick to the remote highlands of Papua New Guinea where she built a medical clinic and a spiritual ministry.
Today’s missionaries—now known as reinforcement personnel—head overseas not on a slow boat, but on a fast plane. They go equipped with broadband and a breadmaker, knowing homeland furlough will be not seven years away, but more likely two years or even an annual event.
Short-term missions have also given New Zealanders the opportunity to use their skills for the relief of people suffering from both natural and man-made disasters.
In every place of service, the common themes of gladness emerge: God used a very ordinary person like me to represent him. Being in the right place—God’s place—at the right time. Meeting Jesus in the poor and destitute. Seeing former prisoners converted, uniformed and now marching in the Army band. Our deepest gladness? People!