‘The challenges and rewards of missionary life’


Gilbert Nigh

Difficult co-workers, a demanding leader and determined opposition are all issues that we face on the mission field today. But these are not new challenges in the missionary’s life.

These very things were talked about in the Book of Acts when Paul, and his colleagues, were working around areas now encompassed by Turkey and Greece, as they spread the Good News.

Applying Acts to modern life

These challenges, and also some rewards, were the topic for this year’s SIM Malawi Spiritual Life Conference (SLC) led by Gilbert Nigh (inset picture above) from SIM Zambia. Using Acts 15-18 as his jump-off point, Gilbert talked us through three challenges and then the rewards of missionary life. The challenges, according to Acts, are:

Difficult co-workers – Acts 15

Demanding Leader – Acts 16

Determined Opposition – Acts 17

And finally The Rewards – Acts 18

It was interesting to consider in all of these areas from Acts just how they impinge on the life and work of SIM Malawi. Thankfully, as a team we generally do seem to get along well and support each other but it is good to know that, even in the early days of the Church, personality clashes could have an impact.

Team members chilling and catching up over coffee

Demanding Leader - heavenly not earthly

The demanding leader, much to our leader’s relief (!), referred to God and some of the problems He put in the way of Paul and his team. But He also provided ways for them to work through the problems and for the Gospel to move forward.

This was, possibly, the most important message that came through all of these four chapters, that no matter how great the challenge or how positive the rewards, the Gospel kept moving forward in ALL of these circumstances and that was a very relevant fact for us in SIM Malawi to consider in the 21st Century.

A time to catch up

But as ever, SLC was not just the Bible teaching, excellent as that was. It was a time for those of us in country to come together to catch up, to enjoy each others’ company and to pray for each other and for the mission as a whole.

There were also sports and games, a talent night and many other things which go to make the week what it is.

And underpinning it all was the chance to learn about the challenges and rewards of the missionary life. It is hoped this will help us to recognise them and to make sure that whatever we face, positive or negative, we will work to ensure the Gospel goes forward and lives are saved into the Kingdom of God.

The SIM Malawi family at SLC 2014



Volume 2: Issue 2
Webpage icon Malawi Amoto Editorial
Webpage icon Go and make disciples of all nations
Webpage icon Preparation for new challenges
Webpage icon New contexts - New challenges