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“If you promise to carry your cross, it will be a life full of thorns, mountains, and difficulties,” the Pakistani teenager said in a firm voice. Saleema, a Christian who lives in Muslim-dominated Pakistan, shared her faith with a schoolmate, Raheela, who later accepted Christ. Raheela’s incensed family charged Saleema with “converting a Muslim,” a charge that can carry the death penalty in Pakistan. Saleema and her pastor were arrested, and her parents were questioned and beaten by police. Saleema was abused while in police custody, but she would not deny her faith. In fact, she softly sang Christian songs in jail, hoping to draw others to Christ.

Raheela fled her home, but her family hunted her down. When they offered her a final chance to recant her faith and return to Mohammed, she refused. For her “crime,” her own family executed Raheela.

Saleema went through lengthy court hearings. Raheela’s family blamed her for their daughter’s death. Eventually the charges were dropped. But Saleema’s life will never be the same. She was forced to move to another part of Pakistan for fear of radical Muslims killing her. Yet the thorns, mountains, and difficulties have not dimmed her faith. In fact, she is preparing to serve as a missionary. She says, “No matter how big the mountain, Jesus will help you overcome!”

Missionaries are often mischaracterized as a sort of special forces—a unique troop in God’s army of faith which acts on our behalf. The truth is, every believer is called to be a missionary. Some of God’s most valuable work may take place around the kitchen table, having coffee, in a next-door neighbor’s house. The heart of our mission remains the same wherever our mission may take us. We are bound to share the love of Christ. For some, sharing their faith with their closest friends would be a personal feat of heroic proportions. For others, a variety of cultural contexts will form their mission field. The measure of our mission is not what is important. It is our motivation that counts. To what extreme are you willing to go to share the good news of Christ?

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