I can’t really remember how I and Rocky became friends, but become friends we did. He is, well, quite unique, since he is among the rare breed of those who are called to become a missionary. I do believe that one of the reasons why we can be quite close is because of our common conviction on mission. Both of us agree on the integrated nature of mission, but which still incorporates a belief that there are people who are called to go and make disciples elsewhere, particularly where Christ’s name has not been proclaimed. And Rocky is one of these people.
Today I attended his commissioning service. He will be serving in another country and today’s service marks the official sending from his church. The experience was eerie and surreal. Throughout the service, I kept thinking about the commissioning of Barnabas and Paul by the church at Antioch. It could be perhaps due to my lack of sleep, but I was quite surprised to find myself in tears during the laying of hands.
Thus I wish him well. I pray that he will give his life so that others could live. After the service, I joked with him and asked whether he would be ready to become a martyr, since the possibility of martyrdom could not be totally discounted for his case. Martyrdom, of course, is not supposed to be a joke, but my absurdity often wins over basic civility. I do pray, though, that he will be ready, if that moment ever comes. I can quote Tertullian at will here, but I guess he will know much better than I. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Godspeed.
(Again, due to my lack of sleep, I can be overtly sentimental about the whole thing. Well, I guess occasional sentimentalism is good.)