Two years ago today I left the comforts of home for the greatest adventure I’ve ever known. Since then I’ve been mulling over several lessons I learned in my year on the field. Today, 24 months later, I’d like to share a few of those with my readers – the few and the faithful.
1. Missionaries are normal people. Working alongside them can be rewarding and frustrating and everything in between.
2. Resting on the truth that God is the God of salvation brings peace. It can be very overwhelming trying to wrap your mind around the millions of lost people around you in need of the Gospel. The encouraging thing is, you don’t actually have to save them yourself, you just have to tell them about the One who does the saving!
3. If you are not living a missional life at home, stepping onto a plane will not magically change you. Even if it does make you more evangelical for a second, you will soon settle into life and get comfortable and have to consciously fight the desire to go right back to your selfish ways.
4. Stepping out in faith means seeing God work in your life and the lives of others in ways that you can never imagine. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing that I will never take for granted.
5. If anyone ever tells you missions is glamorous, they’re lying. It isn’t. It is life wrapped up in all of its beauty and heartache. It is messy and hard and it is fulfilling and joyous. And just like life, it is much more than Instagram posts and Twitter feeds.
6. Before you go on a short term mission trip, please be in contact with the missionaries who are there on the ground every day. Their knowledge of the culture and the people will only accelerate your efforts. And if you do not communicate with them your work could actually hinder their efforts to further the Gospel. Trust me here.
7. And finally, take advantage of this world. Travel. Say yes. Learn from different people and cultures. As Tolkien said, “The world is not in your maps and books. It’s out there.” Go see for yourself!
( If you have any questions or would like me to expound on any of these lessons I learned, feel free to leave a comment! )