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FIRST-PERSON: ‘Ever since I can remember….’

EDITOR’S NOTE: Kennedy Keltner, 12, is a member of Central Baptist Church in Brighton, Tenn., where her father Rusty is pastor. Kennedy wrote this essay for a writing competition and it was subsequently published in the Baptist and Reflector, newsjournal of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

BRIGHTON, Tenn. (BP) — Motivation is a quality that many people lack. They think, “Why do more work than I have to?” In the job I hope to do in the future, this thinking is unacceptable.

Most of the time, important jobs are very hard, yet they’re worth doing. I’m planning on being a missionary, a difficult but worthy job.

Ever since I can remember, I have been longing to explore the world and have been compassionate for others. When I was 5 years old I felt drawn to China, so all I asked for at Christmas that year was money for China.

At summer camp, missionaries came and spoke. It was then that I heard a small voice telling me, “This is you, this is who you’re going to be.” Ever since then, my heart has been set on becoming a missionary. Last Christmas, I felt drawn to Africa, so all I asked for were Bibles to be sent there.

So, why is it worth all of this sacrifice? Missions work is worth doing because it can make a gigantic change in peoples’ lives. Simply getting saved has the power to flip someone’s life completely and absolutely around. Sometimes, this causes a domino or spark effect: One person gets saved and then in a blink of the eye the whole community or village is saved. Christians are strengthened because of this. We never can get enough good influences in this world and this job multiplies good influences.

As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” The missionary field is very difficult. Upon entering this field you bring onto yourself several challenges and dangers including prison, martyrdom, violence, prejudice and many more.

However, you do not need to get discouraged. Being a missionary can also bring on many joys, such as sharing about God, beautiful scenery, traveling, meeting different people from different cultures, and much more. Life is full of ups and downs and missions work is no different.

I have been called to a life of hard work, but it is worth the struggle. My calling will provide the motivation I need on a daily basis. Just like the world needs doctors who cure diseases, it also needs missionaries who share the cure for the spiritual disease of sin. I am excited about this career that God has called me to and believe that the hard work is worth the prize of pleasing Him.

    About the Author

  • Kennedy Keltner