Finding A Place In Ministry
By Deana Hewston
I have to say most, if not all, of us single ladies have heard it before. “You aren’t a missionary.” “You can’t be a single missionary." “You are only a missionary helper.” I have heard these, plus more. As I was on deputation, and being told these things, I began to think and wonder if what I was being told was true. Can I be a missionary whilst being single? Am I out of God’s will to try to go to the mission field without having a spouse? I am very thankful for a sending church and pastor who does support me and my call into missions, but not everyone has that positive support behind them.
What does the Bible say about these things? Titus 2:4-5 states, “That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” As a lady, I understand that God has a specific role for me to play especially, God willing, as a wife one day. But my role in the home and one day as a wife does not exclude ministry. Acts 1:14: “These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.” Women do play a part in ministry, even those of us who are single. I Corinthians 7:34 says, “There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband.” This is not in any way putting down married ladies, but it is reminding us that we, as single ladies, have a roll and a place to “care for the things of the Lord.” If God has put you in the position as a single lady and has called you into the ministry, don’t be ashamed or afraid. “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.” (I Thessalonians 5:24)
Whenever I came across someone with a negative view on single lady missionaries, I did not get into a discussion. I thanked them for their time and moved on. Sometimes it’s hard when you are speaking to someone in person, but that’s when God’s grace comes into play. Be kind and caring. Don’t develop a reputation for arguments. Let’s not forget our place of submission and deference to God’s Word, but let’s also not forget that God uses his children regardless of their marital status!
Please meet Deana Hewston, she will be contributing to our blog once a month.
Next month we'll read about her first month on the mission field.
It’s amazing to me how God works in our lives! When I was born, the doctors found that my heart was flipped on the wrong side. To any normal human being, that could be a death sentence or a life full of surgery after surgery. My parents brought this issue before God and the people at their church. Soon after that, there was another doctor visit to follow up on the heart issue, and sure enough, somehow that heart flipped back to its proper place!
I don’t believe it was a fluke or a chance happening. I truly believe God had and still has a purpose in keeping me alive and healthy! At the age of 8, I realized that I was a sinner in need of a Saviour. I asked God to forgive my sins and save me. I was very aware that the next step was to follow the Lord in Believer’s Baptism. My extreme fear of water kept me from doing that, however! Finally as an 8th grader, I could no longer withstand the prompting and prodding of the Holy Spirit and surrendered my heart to God. Praise the Lord that was the same year in which I knew God wanted me to be a missionary. I did not know where or when but knew the path to take to get there. I sometimes wonder, if I had surrendered my fear earlier in life, would I have known God’s will for my life a little earlier?
I attended a local Christian university and graduated with an Associate Degree in Missionary Preparation. Within a year of graduating, God led me to move back to my hometown of Tucson, Arizona. After a time, God asked me to move again, and this time it was to Cottonwood and there I settled in and became a member of Faith Baptist Church. This was the first time I really got involved heavily in church and enjoyed the opportunities of teaching, running the nursery, singing, and such. This was also the time I knew God wanted me to finally take the next step in my goal to become a missionary.
Through God’s leading, I visited Aberdeen, Scotland in 2007 for two weeks. Upon returning to the States, I knew God showed me where it was he wanted me to work! Through the next 4 years, God lead me back to Tucson and has had me involved with Sonrise Baptist, my sending church. In September of 2015 I moved to the field of Scotland to begin helping Russell and Janet Brinkley at Bible Baptist Church Perth.