All in Africa

Dong! Dong! Dong!

“Dong! Dong! Dong! That is the sound I imagine of how the boy jumping around during kid’s ministry in the photo grew into a big strong man,” says Ivy. “…You never know what is happening in the lives you are touching right now, but God finds people to carry on all parts of His work. No missionary can claim to have done all the work themselves and everyone should rejoice together with the great work of God at the end.”

Excuses, excuses

“Do you make a lot of excuses? I have lately,” admits Rebecca. “Not necessarily out loud in conversations like the scenario I just described, but inside my head. And the number one thing I’ve been making excuses about? Devotions—which means I’m not only making excuses to myself, I’m making excuses to God as to why I’m not spending time with Him.”

Turning over the table

“I knew before I came to Africa that I would face the issue of poverty cycles, but I didn’t know there would be poverty cycles in ministries as well. I was so emotional about my friend’s situation that I wanted to do something. In Chinese, we call this feeling ‘turning over the table.' Chinese are usually reserved people so turning over the table means that someone could not hold back the emotion any more,” explains Ivy. “They have to do something to express what they are feeling.”

My life of adventure in missions

“Yet, the point is not so much that I have any special abilities, but that my story is a story of obedience to God,” shares Simon. “In fact, there are generations of other Christians who gave up their homeland to travel a worse road just to bring the message of hope and healing to other people.  I tell my story, because it is a story of how a simple act— one that is actually fun and enjoyable—can still lead to transformation.”

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.”