What are we doing here?
Being here on the mission field on the far reaches of the earth, we catch glimpses of the amazing things God is doing. We have incredible moments of deep conversations shared with a stranger in a taxi, wonderful discipleship times with a local friend, sharing in local celebrations and traditions, and seeing how God works in a family's heart to bring them to believe the truth about himself. These are the stories we write home about. These are the stories and pictures that go into our newsletters and presentations when we're on home assignment.
But if we're perfectly honest, most days can be a slog. It’s hard, keep-your-head-down work. It’s not the glamorous stuff we can write in newsletters or get short-term teams involved in. It’s the endless language lessons and practice, constantly trying to scrape through on a tight budget for projects and daily living. If you're working with an NGO like we are, it's endless report writing and accounting work.
Then there are relationships with teammates and local friends and colleagues, which are often messy and hard as soon as you go a bit deeper than the surface. There are days that suck our energy and leave us shattered and empty, and we wonder why we're here doing what we're doing in the first place and if we're really making much difference at all.
A few weeks ago, we got an email from home giving us the very real opportunity to get back into the business corporate world. It was an opportunity to be back home, to earn a good, stable salary, to have the recognition and appreciation of our skills, education, and abilities. It was the opportunity to have the security and stability of living in a country and a culture that we love and understand, speaking our first language.
What followed was days of soul-searching and prayer and heated discussions and many tears.
In the end, we wrote an email appreciating the job offer but turning it down.
Because in the end, we are just broken, weak, sinful vessels serving an Almighty God. This incredible God that we serve has called us here to this country to walk in the works He has planned in advance for us to do, and the work isn’t done yet. Our role is to be obedient and faithful, and until God makes it very clear that we are to leave Central Asia, we will remain.
Although most days are unglamorous, every now and then, God gives us glimpses of something beautiful, of something He is doing, to encourage and reassure us that He is at work, and we are thankful for the privilege of being a part of what He is doing.
May you be encouraged right where you are, to persevere in walking in what God has called you to!
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Eph 2:10