Fragrances of the Nations: A perspective on Missions
I believe that God created mankind in His image. Every person has a different fingerprint, a different story, personality and dreams. Like light reflecting from a diamond, each person can reflect a unique facet of what God is like. And what if nations were also revealing some of His facets?
My belief is that nations have the potential to release a fragrance from heaven that can make us feel us more alive and closer to God. At the throne room of heaven, there will be a celebration in every tongue, from every tribe and every nation (Revelation 7:9). There is beauty in the different cultures, languages and ways we worship God! As a missionary, I like to have this perspective: what is the gold that God initially put in this country, may it be visible or not fully visible yet? And how can I bless the nation I am in by bringing to the table the gold of my own country?
God sent me to Norway two years ago.
I believe that Norway carries an atmosphere of peace, care and comfort. The appreciation of the cultural roots, the heritage, the family and the nation is truly beautiful to see. If you want to smell a bouquet composed with these sweet flavors, join a 17th of May celebration, Norway’s national day. The fragrance is beautiful!
Adding to that, I think that Norway carries a passion for adventure and discovery.
France is my home country, and the more I live far from her, the more my eyes see her original design. France is a nation of the heart and carries a spirit of life, celebration, freedom, beauty and enjoyment of life. One of the ways that you can smell these perfumes is through some of French melodies. Here a song by the French artist ZAZ:
Of course, nations also need to be refined and redeemed to fully release their fragrances. And after a «honeymoon» phase, the cultural shock may hit us and we might be offended by things we don’t understand… at all. And that’s where His Spirit can guide us to see a nation through His eyes, and with His grace. Sometimes we have to do the work to understand, to ask questions and seek the gold in a place. What can help to better understand another country (or my own), is to learn more about the culture, history and the spiritual dynamics of a nation. Culture is about the spoken and unspoken values, history helps us to understand why people act the way they do. But that’s maybe where we can impact, as missionaries, by bringing our national colors and treasures, our prayers, our words of affirmation to call forth the gold and the destiny of the nation.
So, let us put on heaven’s glasses to see the gold wherever we go, in people as well as in nations, and see what we can receive and give in those places.