On December 21st, 1968, Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders began a mission trip that would forever change the world. The goal of their six-day mission was to be the first crewed spacecraft to orbit the moon and successfully return to earth. For six days America watched, waited and celebrated the historical event with great pride. The three astronauts were named Time magazine’s “Men of the Year,” for their heroic achievement.
One year later on December 25th, 1969, Arthur Blessitt began a mission trip that would last over fifty years. Beginning in Los Angeles, California, his goal was to walk across country carrying a twelve-foot wooden cross on his shoulder to Washington, DC. After completing his trip, he travelled to many other countries carrying his cross to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. To date, he has walked over 40,000 miles, through almost 200 countries. Arthur Blessitt’s story never made Time magazine, but he is celebrated in the Christian community for his incredible testimony of faith. His heroic ministry of hope and love has touched the lives of millions around the world.
Besides their global travels, these two very different stories have another important similarity. Each story has a celebrated hero who would never have accomplished their mission without the support of a much larger team. Borman, Lovell and Anders were household names that year. But it was the thousands of men and women working countless hours behind the scene that made their mission possible. It was a huge team of engineers, scientists, computer programmers, trainers, and more who enabled the three astronauts to launch into space, circle the moon and return safely.
Likewise, Arthur Blessitt headed out on his mission with the prayer and support of his church. Over the years, his global ministry has been supported by thousands of faithful donors and prayer warriors. His fifty years of ministry would never have been possible without faithful prayer, encouragement, and financial support. Arthur Blessitt carried the cross, but it was the nameless heroes on his team who made it possible.
It takes a team sounds so cliché, but for missionaries around the world it’s never been more true. They could not launch without encouragement, prayer and financial support. They could not minister successfully without a faithful team behind them. Missionaries are the face of the ministry, but it is the thousands of faithful teammates who make it possible. Though often unseen and unmentioned, these countless faithful are the real heroes of missions.