19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. 1 Corinthians 9:19-23
Christ was our ultimate example in becoming like us. He was God in the flesh. He took on flesh to experience what we experience. He experienced hunger, thirst, laughter, sorrow, pain, joy, and contentment. He knew how to work and how to play. He became one of us.
Similarly, Paul also became someone different to win those people. Missionaries do that all the time. While it’s impossible to become 100% native in a different culture, missionaries spend years studying languages and culture so that they might win some. After they win some, those people can carry out the remaining task.
As I’ve mentioned elsewhere in this space, missionary work is hard and often discouraging. In lands where the Gospel has never been preached, it is often dangerous to be a Christian.
Perhaps you know someone in what we would consider an “obscure” part of the world. Pray for encouragement and strength for the days ahead. Pray that others will see the faithfulness of these missionaries and inquire more. Pray for a ripe harvest amid barren lands. Then let your missionary friend know you’ve prayed. They will be encouraged.