No matter where you are today, somebody helped you get there. (Martin Luther King)

We have an unfortunate tendency to place missionaries on a pedestal. We say things to them like, “I could never do what you’re doing” or “I wish I had your kind of faith.”And while it may be true that our own level of responsiveness does not match theirs, they are in reality cut from the same cloth as the rest of us.

How did they get to where they are?

We are all of us, all of the time, shepherding one another whether we realize it or not. We constantly influence those around us, for good or for not-so-much. We are each responsible to walk the path that our Shepherd has marked out for us, but none of us walks alone.

MLK’s comment can be applied two ways. Poor spiritual hygiene rubs off, and if those in our company “stink,” we should be the first to bathe. On the flip side, if we are walking closely with our Shepherd, the joy of being in his company will infect those with whom we come in contact.

The best thing you can do to help your missionary friends stay healthy on the field, is to be healthy yourself.