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To be a missionary means....

Right in front of you is a gate. I would like to call it the gate of the unknown.

Missionary life, you have no idea what it will hold, all you know is one thing....

You made a decision to go through it.

In 1996 I had this gate in front of me and I made a choice to walk through it into a world I could have never been able to imagine.

As I have been walking through it for the past 18 years I have come to one main conclusion "I would not have changed it for anything".

My life has been turned upside down in a way I could not fairly describe to you. Missionary life is not for you if you are not willing to lay down, give up and give away.

Marrying into another culture, raising kids in another culture, speaking love in another language, embracing the different of the another culture....

It is all part of my life and I would not change it for the world.

Being a missionary means burning the things away that keep you from laying down, giving up and giving away.

It is like watching this pile of things being burned up...the things you hold on, the future you envision all of the sake of seeing others walk into the Kingdom of God.

There are days where you look back and you look at the pile that seems to be constantly burning, it seems that more things need burning even after many years of walking the life of missions. Burn away Lord anything that would not allow me to keep reaching out and giving away.

It has meant having kids in a country you did not even know existed before you walked through the gate of missions. To see your little one grow up among the people you have embraced and learned to love with a love that you know comes from above.

It has meant seeing your kids do things that you probably would have never planned on. You see them digging away, helping create things in the land that you never knew existed.

Putting your little one on the ground to play is normal, even if the ground is filled with garbage and the place you are reaching doesn't maintain a health standard we would expect in the "west". A little bug here and there in their little mouth doesn't hurt I came to understand, it might even provide some protein or anti-bodies.

The new world I adopted as my own, despite the fact that my children were born into this world, has become the world I embrace and love. Being a missionary is a constant giving up, laying down, giving away of all that you hold on to for the sake of the Gospel. I am in this world, but not from this world and yet embrace this world with a love that comes from Him.

Yes, the little one looks foreign from this land, but is as "local" as can be. She might not have the hair color they have, but speaks like they do. She might not have the eye color they have, but has the same view on the world around her.

Being a missionary means knowing that you might always be "foreign" yet accepting that your heart can be "local".

Being part of the people you serve means learning to share what they love and appreciate. Learning to speak the language that cost you sweat and tears to even get a proper sentence out, but now is part of your very self and you wouldn't even think about expressing yourself any other way than in "their" language.

Being a missionary is finally understanding that you have given up that what you had and not expecting it to ever come back for the sake of His Kingdom.
To be a missionary means so many things for me, but most of all it means that I have said "yes" to change, "yes" to doing life different for the sake of the Gospel.

Willing to give up, so I could give away! While giving up and I have been given a return so much more.

The friends, the love, the people who have become my new family who I get to share Him with is more than what I could have ever asked for. Being a missionary, well really is it being a follower of Him. Being a follower of Him made me who I am, and called me to go, to give up, to give away and to lay down....simply because He did also.

I would not change this ever.....! So go, pick up your stuff, dare to make a step, dare to put the stuff on the pile, walk down the path that you feel is calling you. Want to be a missionary..... then follow Him, give up, lay down and give away!!!

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