I heard this story during the 2013 IWMC. It’s a great story for people who are preparing to go on a short-term missions trip. It’s actually a great story for anyone involved with cross-cultural ministry at all.
There was once a monkey who lived safe and sound on an island with his family. He lived there for years, had plenty of bananas, and the weather was usually nice. The monkey lived near a beautiful river on the middle of the island. One day, he saw a fish struggling in the river. The fish was caught on a rock in the running water. The monkey, at great risk to himself, climbed out on a tree branch and pulled the fish out of the water. He carried the fish to a safe place far away from the rushing river and laid him on the ground. The fish seemed very excited about his new found safety. He flopped around for a while showing much gratitude for the monkey’s selfless deed. It was only natural that after a little bit the fish began to fall asleep; after all, he had had a very rough day. The monkey walked away quietly so as not to disturb the fish after his near-death trial.
Some things to note:
- The monkey was courageous, sacrificial, and acted out of compassion.
- The monkey truly wanted to help the fish.
- The fish had no say in the relief he received.
- The monkey left before realizing what he had actually done.
Some questions to ask if you are telling this story in a group setting:
- What did the monkey assume about the fish?
- How did the fish feel about receiving ‘help’ from the monkey?
- What advice do we have for the monkey if he wants to help out in the future?
- Does this apply to us?