Some friends of mine are serving as missionaries in Ghana. From what I gather, it is not easy work. Just yesterday, though, I came upon an encouraging passage from Ignatius' letter to Polycarp, written in the first century. He urged the younger pastor,
"Be more zealous than you are... lend everybody a hand, as the Lord does you... Let your deeds be your deposits, so that you will eventually get back considerable savings."
The reward which God shall grant for our works done in faith is of grace. It will nonetheless be a reward proportioned to our service, while greatly outweighing any opportunity costs involved. I'm jealous for the blessing the Lord is preparing on behalf of my missionary friends, doubtless one that will crown Christ admirably. Because I cannot have their reward, but must receive one suited to my service, I will need to serve all the more heartily so that I can share the same joy with them in glory. Lord, bless us all to run the race so as to win.