Few things on earth are as deeply uncool, as heroically off-trend, as sending evangelical christian missionaries to Catholic Europe. If your son or daughter has taken up this career, you probably do not boast about it at the golf club.
But so what? For one thing, if a Catholic nation like Spain can embrace gays and scientologists and people with blue hair, a dash of evangelical missionaries surely only adds to the joyous mix. As soon as we evangelicals stop trying to be respectable, we can take our natural place.
For another thing, whatever the spiritual vitality or otherwise of the Catholic Church, masses of people in Catholic countries are finding spiritual renewal through movements started by evangelicals and Pentecostals. They are more than 10% of the population in Argentina, for example; more than 20% in the Philippines.
And thirdly, Christ’s evident habit of championing the outcast, the laughed-at and the dispossessed has turned builders’ rubble into cornerstone and capstone.