We could have called them "holiness heroes." Their vision of a successful, fulfilling life challenged conventional wisdom. Risk aversion? Hardly. Theirs was a commitment so deep, the chasms of distance and the silence of isolation could not weaken it.
Yes, they are the heroes of the faith—they are missionaries. They removed their children from the loving arms of grandparents and planted them in the volcanic soils of Cape Verde, or beneath the humid canopy of tropical jungles. They learned the syllabic symphonies of remote dialects and shared table fellowship with comrades around previously unsampled delicacies. They took the Light to shadowlands and engaged the human experience with compassion, mercy and service.
Their children's stories cannot begin to properly describe the mystery, grandeur, and eloquence of lives well-lived as instruments of investment in kingdom values.
Holiness Today is happy to provide these vignettes that offer unparalleled insight into a chapter of our story. In keeping with the twin focal points of Holiness Today—connecting people, and offering pointers for practical holy living—Samuel Powell writes about holiness and the church.
An unmistakable connection lies between the stories of the adults who grew up on the mission fields and Powell's discussion of holiness and the church. Our commitment to a narrative approach of Christianity—passing the faith along through stories of life experience, which we believe is quite within the Wesleyan perspective—makes the connection between theory and practice via real-time, real-life stories enriched by articles such as Powell's.
The faces and stories in our holiness narrative are ever changing. Missionaries on the field now are facing their own challenges, and strengthening their own commitments—and raising children who will have their own reminiscent stories to tell in another time, another season.
In North America right now, we're preparing for fresh colors and transition to another beautiful season. As summer leaves us, it approaches our readers in the southern hemisphere. May this time remind us of the truth that our world is ever in transition. Surely the sun never sets on the Church of the Nazarene.
David J. Felter, Editor in chief.
Holiness Today, September/October 2004
Please note: This article was originally published in 2004. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.