"I tell you the truth," Jesus said to them, "no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life."
I love to read missionary biographies. While all missionaries are heroes in my eyes, I am really impressed with the faith of the early North American missionaries. They bravely left all the comforts of home and everything familiar to go to strange lands. The trip to the mission field often took months and once there, they were greeted by many hardships. They faced disease, distrust by the nationals they were trying to share God's love with, and primitive living conditions. Letters from home took weeks or months to arrive. And yet they were faithful to their call. Because of their sacrifices, thousands of Christians will rejoice in Heaven for all eternity.
Many of these dear saints received little reward on earth. Robert Jaffray, a pioneer missionary to China and Southeast Asia, died alone in a dirty prisoner of war camp during World War II. He was not the only missionary to die in these camps. Over the years, many missionaries serving in many different countries have been martyred while taking the gospel to the lost.
As Jesus said so long ago, these brave men and women will receive their rewards in Heaven. They will live in a mansion instead of a mud hut. They will walk down streets of gold instead of cutting a path through tall grass. Yet I believe that a smile and a "Thank you" from someone they lead to the Lord will be counted among their richest rewards!
Father, Thank you for the faithful men and women who braved great hardships to spread the good news of Your love.