Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pictures of Missions


I struggled. I was trying to prepare my weekly post for this week, and it just wasn't coming together. I was pressed for time. I was stressed. Then God put on my heart to ask a friend if God had put something on her heart to share on the blog. Sure enough, God had! She had such a passion and desire to share something God had taught her recently and was just waiting for Him to open the door.

What she shared touched my heart, and I hope it touches yours, too.

Missions doesn't always look like what we imagine. No, it's way better.


I have been on the field for 9 months now. The time has gone by so quickly that it doesn’t seem that long at all. I have to say I absolutely love it here and the mission God has given us. With that being said, sometimes I do wish that “my role” was bigger. You know the “perfect” Christian missionary—that gets up at 4 am so I can have 3 solid hours of prayer time and Bible Study before the kids wake up, leading people to Christ daily, teaching Bible studies, and  growing the children’s ministry - you know the super missionary!

But (and I am not undermining our job at all) in reality my role here in our country is to help my husband, train up my kids, cook dinner, and make sure we have clean clothes. Anything extra is bonus. In all honesty my area of expertise, although I am capable, is not in a children’s ministry. Since (thankfully) we have friends working with us that enjoy it, I don’t have to be the one to take charge. I enjoy (besides my regular duties as wife and mom) designing things on the computer, bulletins, tracts, layout, calendars, hosting people at our house and cooking.

If you want me to teach 20 kids for an hour I CAN do it, but I would feel trapped, truly be pasting a smile on and trying to have a good attitude about it. If you ask me to cook for 3-4 hours (because that’s how long it can take to cook for a lot people from scratch) I would love it and feel honored. I would enjoy every second of it, even though I’d be exhausted at the end.

That being said, sometimes I feel like I’m not doing anything, and what I do can easily just be done in America. It would seem there’s no reason to be on the other side of the earth. I’m not depressed or discouraged just stating some facts so you will understand the next part.

This past weekend we had a “Day of Thanks” with our church. We only have a handful of people besides us “foreigners”. We were going around the room and each taking turns stating what was on our heart to be thankful for.

One young man, who we have been praying diligently for because it seems like he is on the fence as far as the world and God, was giving a testimony. He pulled out a bulletin calendar that I made. This month, we printed it in color (which is expensive here.) I put a collage of pictures of everyone in our church on the front and back cover of our calendar. The young man told everyone that he has never had family pictures, let alone something printed out. He only met his dad for one hour one time and of course didn’t get a picture. Seeing all of the church family printed out nicely made him so happy. He said he wanted to keep this forever and it makes him smile. He then talked about the times we have people over to our house for a meal and play games together and how special that was to him because he never played games with his family. He went on and mentioned other things…but I kind of quit listening—probably because I was crying.

This made me feel so special. I don’t always feel what I’m doing is anything special; but finding out that something as simple as a picture and games around a meal was special to someone else was a big deal to me. It made me realize that God DID give each of us our own gift and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the one in the spotlight. I should not feel guilty about not wanting to be a part of the children’s ministry—which I sometimes do. I am doing what God wants me to do, and to me this was one way that God was showing me, “You are doing what I want you to do!”

So ladies, I hope this helps encourage you to find what God wants you to do and not what everyone else wants you to do without feeling guilty about it. Know that the little things unseen by most are important because it is a task from God no matter how little it may seem.

by Jamie, Southern Asia

1 comment:

Tori Leslie said...

I can so relate to your post today. When we arrived in Croatia 15 years ago I was shocked at how fast my ministry service just simply stopped. I was used to a rich ministry life in the States and having souls saved weekly and then we arrived here and it all stopped dead. The language was such a barrier and the culture was just crazy. We were here alone and my children were babies.
I soon realized that this life wasn't going to have the same dynamics as life in the States. I settled into being a mom and wife and just being available if something ministry wise did present itself.
Once I realized that my ultimate job description was helpmeet I began to settle into my life in the mission field. My job was to make serving for my husband as easy and enjoyable as possible. To take care of his children and to love him extra when ministry beat him up. Ultimately my job was to make it as easy as possible for him to stay as long as possible in the place that God had called him to. Even now, ministry consists of cooking for church functions, nursery duty, counseling ladies when needed, Saturday morning soul-warning, visiting and anything else that's needed. It's still not the bustling church life I remember in the States but it's what God's given me. We love our life here, our people and what God is doing here and I can just imagine how that could have been different if I hadn't realized my true job description. Helpmeet is a lovely job description and I'm glad it's mine.

Thank you Jamie for your transparency and truthfulness. It was a lovely read!