All tagged operation mobilisation
"If you are starting out on the language and culture learning journey or if you have been at it a while and are feeling tired and despondent, I encourage you to persevere. To stick with it and pray for strength to continue. Keep asking questions and keep learning about the culture," urges Beth.
“There are times when I have deeply missed my family and friends, now literally a world away, times when I feel inadequate, times when it just seems all a little too much,” says Chris. “But I know that this is part of how God is writing my own story, leading me ever closer to his heart.”
“...thought of living with others for the purpose of discipleship,” says Ivy. “I have been familiar with Christian ‘ministry since I was young. However, I never thought of literally living with someone 24/7 like Jesus and the disciples.
You can read all the books and listen to all the Podcasts in preparation for joining missions, but there will always be surprises. Experiences you never thought would happen to you (until you’re standing wide-eyed right in the middle of them). Things you never imagined you could live without (until the ‘necessities’ all of a sudden become the ‘luxuries’). Food you never expected to eat (until it’s placed right in front of you and everyone is waiting for you to take a bite).
Continue reading to find out what surprised missionaries around the world!
“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.”
“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.”
“Here was someone who showed up at the right time with the right knowledge to take me to the right place,” remembers Renette. “He knew how to take me from being hopeless to having direction, purpose. He took me from off the map to back on the map. He didn’t use words, but walked alongside me, comforting and guiding me. And when he knew I could take on the next part of the journey by myself, he left. In 10 minutes I went from lost to found.”
“As I watched the ending scene (that lasted about three minutes) I thought about the “happy ending” notion,” says Ava. “Is it real or is it a fairy tale? A utopia created by Hollywood to give their viewers a false sense of hope in the reality of a broken world? And so, I said to myself: I believe in happy endings.”
“In the face of this devastating poverty, I feel a sickening sense that there is no way to help; that any programme we organised, any aid given or any message shared would not be enough to bring a real change,” shares Ellyn. “It is only when I learn to see their beauty—the person that God crafted them to be—that I feel hope in the fact that they too were created by God and placed here on earth for a purpose.”
“As time passes by, my prayer has changed. It is no longer for God to take me to higher places, or fulfill His promise for me but through me,” says Camila. “It has become more and more my biggest pleasure in life when I see the poor being fed, the orphan being adopted, the widow being comforted and my heart kept separated from the pollution of the world (James 1:27). Not ignoring it, but fighting it. Bringing justice where there is none and being a light in the middle of the darkness.”
“At some point just before midnight, I realised that we would never again be in a setting like this to celebrate the new year,” remembers Loïs. “Our friends will get married in the spring and move to the USA. Our other friend just got divorced from her local non-believing spouse and will, together with her son, move back to her family in another country. Again a year of goodbyes.”
“If I am completely honest, I think I spent our first two years in Central Asia longing to go home to our home country (or even to the USA where we had lived for a short while),” admits Beth. “I would pray: Your will God but deep down I was hoping that His will was that we wouldn’t be here long.”