Missionary Recruit - A. Nony Mous

A new missionary recruit went to Venezuela for the first time.

He was struggling with the language and didn't understand a

whole lot of what was going on. Intending to visit one of the

local churches, he got lost, but eventually got back on track

and found the place. Having arrived late, the church was

already packed. The only pew with a seat open was the one

on the front row.

So as not to make a fool of himself, this recruit decided to

pick someone out of the crowd to imitate. He chose to

follow the man sitting next to him on the front pew. As they

sang, the missionary tried to follow along.

When the man stood up to pray, the missionary recruit

stood up too. When the man sat down, he sat down.

When the man took the cup and bread for the Lord's Supper,

he took the cup and bread. During the preaching, the recruit

didn't understand a thing. He just sat there and tried to look

just like that man in the front pew.

Then he perceived that the preacher was giving announcements.

People clapped, so he looked to see if the man was clapping.

He was, and so the recruit clapped too. Then the preacher said

some words that he didn't understand and he saw the man next

to him stand up. So he stood up too. Suddenly a hush fell over

the entire congregation. A few people gasped.

He looked around and saw that nobody else was standing, so he

sat down.

After the service ended, the preacher stood at the door shaking

the hands of those who were leaving. When the missionary recruit

stretched out his hand to greet the preacher, the preacher said, in

English: "I take it you don't speak Spanish."

The missionary recruit replied: "No I don't. Is it that obvious?"

"Well yes," said the preacher, "I announced that the Acosta family

had a newborn baby boy and would the proud father please stand


There is nothing wrong with imitating godly men and women, but

we need to be careful who we imitate, and to what extent. Even

the apostle Paul was careful to limit those who sought to follow


"Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1).

Follow the example of those you know who are living godly lives,

but be sure to keep one eye on Christ as the ultimate standard.

Otherwise, you may find yourself standing when you ought to be