Posted by Craig Borlase on 23 December 2013

Jackie Pullinger has worked alongside drug addicts and gang members in Hong Kong's infamous Walled City, putting herself in great danger and seeing God move in miraculous ways. You could be forgiven for thinking that her life is a little different from our own, but turn the clock back and there's a challenge we can all respond to.

Jackie decided that she wanted to become a missionary while she was in Sunday School, despite the fact that she was a little unclear about precisely what a missionary was. As she grew up, however, her childhood ambition took a back seat and she found herself studying at the Royal College of Music. 

Then came the dream. 

"I saw," says Jackie, "a vision of a woman holding her arms out beseechingly as on a refugee poster. I wondered what she wanted: she looked desperate for something. Then words moved past like a television credit: what can you give us?"

The ambition and passion was back, nagging, prodding and generally refusing to let her settle. Jackie knew that she had to take God's calling seriously and head off. But how? 

Rejected by every missionary group she could think of, she turned to church organizations and even the Hong Kong government. All said she lacked too much: age, experience and qualifications. 

She was about to give up, when the vicar of a church she helped in told her, against the wisdom of everything else she had heard, to go to Hong Kong anyway. So she did.

What followed were months of difficulty as she struggled to find ways of expressing her faith and matching her passion with the needs of the people around her. To follow the miracles and difficulties that have punctuated the last four decades you need to read her biography 'Chasing The Dragon'. But if you want the short message, here it is: Jackie wasn't called to become 'famous', she was called to be obedient. It's great for us to dream, but what counts is how we respond. 

 

More like this

What do you sing when tragedy strikes?

  With terrorism back on home soil and dominating the news, the role of worship songs might not seem like the most urgent topic. But when I walked into a funeral yesterday, I was reminded that whenever tragedy strikes - in...

the Friday Pickle - do you change lyrics without permission?

Do you consider lyrics to be set in stone, or are they merely a starting point for worship? Do you change words of songs to make them better suit your congregation, or do you consider such action to be off-limits? Does the fact that you’re using songs in worship overrule copyright?