The Reluctant Missionary

Authentic stories from the travels of Michael Smalley.

Just Say Hi

just say hi Jul 05, 2023

The journey of a hesitant missionary as he delves into the depths of Islam.

My father taught me that even in times of tragedy, sin, brokenness, and pain, there are opportunities to grow. He emphasized that despite the bad things that happen to believers in Jesus, those who follow Him will have their pain and sin transformed and used for His glory.

The past ten years of my life have been a tumultuous ride, marked by trauma, loss, divorce, and indulgence. However, these events have ultimately brought me to Southern Lebanon, to the historic city of Tyre, situated in the midst of the Islamic faith and Hezbollah.

In March of 2022, I went on a two-week mission trip to Lebanon with 11 other men. While at the Horizons ministry headquarters in Beirut, I was introduced to Pierre Houghssney, head of the Middle East division. It was there I first heard the phrase "Just say hi," which was coined by Pierre's father, Horizons founder Georges Houghssney.

I have a plan to journal and share my experiences while staying in Lebanon. My hope is that it would inspire you to spread the love of Jesus in your own community or around the world. As a missionary in Southern Lebanon, I am still uncertain about what Jesus wants me to do after living here for almost three months. However, I am sure that a simple greeting can go a long way! I have already formed meaningful relationships with Muslims, atheists, and even Hezbollah members just by saying hello.

Jesus calls on us to spread the good news to everyone because He is our only salvation. "Just Say Hi" is a reminder to love and respect everyone, regardless of their religion, political beliefs, or appearance. I aspire to make "Just Say Hi" a way of living, as it is not my responsibility to "save" anyone - that is the role of the Holy Spirit. My job is simply to emulate Jesus and show love to the people around me. 


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