All in Africa

Dear missions, I wish you had told me…

“Dear Missions,

It’s been a while since we first started on this adventure together….It’s been good and I’m thankful for this opportunity, but there are a few things I wish you had told me before I boarded that first plane. So I’m writing you this letter with the hope that the next person to join you will know some of these things beforehand. And that those already with you will know that they are not alone.”

Back to the future

“The new year is here,” says OMer Renette. “The world tells us to make new year’s resolutions and nothing is wrong with doing that. Let’s not just look to the new year, let’s remember and celebrate the past year.”

Do you miss home?

“This is the beauty and the tragedy of being a missionary in a foreign land. We are connected to many places deeply but belong to nowhere fully,” shares OMer Ivy. “I will miss home wherever I go and I will create a new home wherever I move. I am adopting cultures and creating a third culture of my own.”

'The only constant is change'

“If as Christians we are to win over souls with our love and excellence, we need to embrace the global shift. Now culture is a sneaky thing. It can make person trustworthy or it can stagnant growth or it can misinterpret love,” explains OMer Lenka.

Let us go around the walls again

“When I read the Bible, I sometimes even pretend that I am interviewing the characters. This helps me find new insights in the scripture. Recently I came across the story of the wall of Jericho. As I acted out the scene in my brain, I imagined it in a gaming style,” says OMer Ivy.

Cling like a gecko

“‘…cling to what is good.’ I want to cling to what is good in the Lord’s eyes with all my strength,” says OMer Rebecca. “Cling like my life is on the line. Cling to His goodness. Cling to His grace. Cling to His love. Cling to His Word. Cling to His promises. For I know they are good.”

Love yourself

“It struck me the other day that I can only love others as much as I love myself,” shares OMer Renette. “Now that I say it, it sounds so obvious. If there is something I struggle to love about myself—like my weight or lack of self-confidence—then these are the things I also struggle to love in others. If someone has more confidence than I have, jealousy creeps in and I struggle to love their confidence.”

We are not a travel agency

“…to many host ministries, short-term outreaches can be a blessing or a curse,” shares OMer Ivy. “Here I would like to share some tips that help me feel less like a tour guide and more like I’m helping facilitate an exposure trip for the Kingdom.”

Stuck in the mud

“Just like the children’s game ‘stuck in the mud’ we need others to help us, to set us free. Sometimes the game gets so crazy that people don’t know you are stuck and need help," explains OMer Renette.

Turn to Him

“People would ask me how it was going, how I liked the city, and without fail some comment about the weather would pop out of my mouth quicker than I could swallow it back. The weather. That’s what I chose to talk about day after day. Because it was safe,” shares OMer Rebecca. “I didn’t want to admit it, but I was struggling. I wasn’t sure what I was doing or where I was going in life. But saying that I was struggling out loud felt like failing and I am not one for failure.”

Not just numbers

“I’ve noticed the format [of reports] many times focuses heavily on the results. How many people did the project impact? What is the difference from last year?” says OMer Ivy. “While it’s important to examine the work, it’s hard to measure the lives of people.”

Joshua, Caleb and my mosquito net

“God will protect us from the enemy but we may still see and hear them. We sometimes need to glimpse the giants we are facing to experience the greatness of God. We sometimes need to see the Red Sea to witness God’s power as He makes a way,” shared OMer Renette. “The more we learn to trust in Him, the better we understand that He really WILL protect us and be with us. The giants before me and the mosquitos around me is the world challenging my faith. What will I hold onto in the moments of anxiety?”