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a passing missionary

English translation: a missionary who happened to be passing by at that time

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:a passing missionary
English translation:a missionary who happened to be passing by at that time
Entered by: Ana Juliá
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14:06 Sep 2, 2008
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Religion
English term or phrase: a passing missionary
"I thought before I can trust God to supply my needs I’ve got to give all my money away. How shall he supply me with something that I don’t need? So there was ***a passing missionary*** and I don’t know how many pounds I had I think twenty pounds or so and I thought I give him nineteen pounds and one pound I keep as an iron reserve in case I urgently need toothpaste. So I gave that missionary nineteen pounds and one pound I just kept, you know".

Was the missionary passing by at that very moment, or does the author mean that the missionary was staying there temporarily?
Ana Juliá
Spain
Local time: 02:33
a missionary who happened to be passing by at that time
Explanation:
That's how I read it.

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Note added at 7 mins (2008-09-02 14:13:28 GMT)
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Your author is casting his seed to the wind, expecting that God will Provide (cf. Mark IV --http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/mark/mark4.htm)

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Note added at 46 mins (2008-09-02 14:52:14 GMT)
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"There was a passing missionary..." is a bit ambiguous, and can mean "there was a missionary passing by where I was standing" or "passing through my town" or "visiting my church" (as Flo suggested), or anything similar.

The sense is the same as that in the expression "in passing" --denotes a temporary (and probably "chance") situation.

Note also the informal nature of this narrative --and the injection of a bit of humor ("...in case I urgently need toothpaste....you know").

There is no significance to this "toothpaste" --it's just as if to say "In case I should (in my usual foolish state of mind) *think* that I might 'need' any of the many frivolous things which I constantly think 'necessary' (but which are really just passing desires), when it is clear that God will Provide."

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Note added at 52 mins (2008-09-02 14:58:41 GMT)
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I say below that "it's (perhaps deliberately) ambiguous" because I get the feeling that what is being recounted here (as we shall see) is something along the order of a minor miracle:

"Look how God provided for me! I gave away all my money to a worthy cause and was repaid *ten* fold!"

The "passing missionary" is clearly part of the Unfolding of the Divine Plan.

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Note added at 54 mins (2008-09-02 15:00:17 GMT)
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"...to a worthy cause (which God just "happened" to provide in the form of a passing missionary)..."
Selected response from:

Christopher Crockett
Local time: 20:33
Grading comment
Thanks
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +11a missionary who happened to be passing by at that time
Christopher Crockett
3 +1a missionary who was temporarily in the area
Catherine Winzer


Discussion entries: 1





  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +11
a missionary who happened to be passing by at that time


Explanation:
That's how I read it.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 7 mins (2008-09-02 14:13:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Your author is casting his seed to the wind, expecting that God will Provide (cf. Mark IV --http://www.usccb.org/nab/bible/mark/mark4.htm)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 46 mins (2008-09-02 14:52:14 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"There was a passing missionary..." is a bit ambiguous, and can mean "there was a missionary passing by where I was standing" or "passing through my town" or "visiting my church" (as Flo suggested), or anything similar.

The sense is the same as that in the expression "in passing" --denotes a temporary (and probably "chance") situation.

Note also the informal nature of this narrative --and the injection of a bit of humor ("...in case I urgently need toothpaste....you know").

There is no significance to this "toothpaste" --it's just as if to say "In case I should (in my usual foolish state of mind) *think* that I might 'need' any of the many frivolous things which I constantly think 'necessary' (but which are really just passing desires), when it is clear that God will Provide."

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 52 mins (2008-09-02 14:58:41 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I say below that "it's (perhaps deliberately) ambiguous" because I get the feeling that what is being recounted here (as we shall see) is something along the order of a minor miracle:

"Look how God provided for me! I gave away all my money to a worthy cause and was repaid *ten* fold!"

The "passing missionary" is clearly part of the Unfolding of the Divine Plan.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 54 mins (2008-09-02 15:00:17 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"...to a worthy cause (which God just "happened" to provide in the form of a passing missionary)..."

Christopher Crockett
Local time: 20:33
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 16
Grading comment
Thanks

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Timmyg: That's how I read it too - it seems like the author made a sudden decision, and the missionary happened to be passing by the moment it was made.
3 mins
  -> Yes, "just happened to be passing by" --as though the Divine Plan for this guy was just an accident. Thanks, Tim.

agree  Ken Cox: 'staying there temporarily' would be 'itinerant' or an equivalent paraphrase
9 mins
  -> Yes, it's clearly not a case of that. Thanks, Ken.

agree  Flo Demolis: I think the missionary was probably taking a meeting in the church this person goes to, or something like that.
13 mins
  -> The encounter is a curious coincidence --but, God Works in Mysterious Ways, Her Wonders to Perform. Thanks, Flo.

agree  Andres Pacheco
14 mins
  -> Thanks, Andres.

agree  Patricia Townshend
20 mins
  -> Thanks, Patricia.

agree  Robert Kleemaier
33 mins
  -> Thanks, Robert.

agree  JaneTranslates: I agree with Flo--probably not literally "walking by" the speaker at the moment, but "passing thru" the city, preaching at that church that night, etc. Not itinerant preacher, but missionary on furlough, perhaps.
40 mins
  -> Something like that, yes --it's (perhaps deliberately) ambiguous. Thanks, Jane.

agree  Jack Doughty
50 mins
  -> Thanks, Jack.

agree  Demi Ebrite
3 hrs
  -> Thanks, debrite.

agree  Phong Le
11 hrs
  -> Thanks, phongi.

agree  kmtext
16 hrs
  -> Thanks, kmt.
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57 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
a missionary who was temporarily in the area


Explanation:
We are given very little information about this missionary, but I read it to mean that the missionary was temporarily in the area, probably staying there for a few hours or a couple of days on his way to somewhere else.

If the missionary was literally walking past him I think it would be worded differently, eg. There was a missionary passing by / walking past.

Also, if he had simply walked past the narrator, the narrator surely would not necessarily have known that he was a missionary. It seems probable that they met somewhere eg. someone's house or at a church meeting, as Flo suggests.

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Note added at 58 mins (2008-09-02 15:04:59 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another attempt at a paraphrase might be: "a missionary on his way through (the town/area)".

Catherine Winzer
Germany
Local time: 02:33
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  JaneTranslates: Yes, that's what I was trying to say above, in my "agree" to Christopher's answer.
21 mins
  -> Thanks, Jane
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Sep 2, 2008:
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