ARE YOU A MISSIONARY?
Extra from Volume 11#2
by Anna B.
We are living in a world today that is desperately in need of the hope of the gospel, and salvation in Jesus Christ. What are you doing right now to share the treasure you posses? I am not advising that you drop everything and move to a jungle village in South America or a tent in Africa. God may call you to do that, but going to a foreign country is not what makes you or I a missionary. According to Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:19 & 20, we are all missionaries with a mission: to go and proclaim the gospel! He specifies all nations, which includes wherever you are living in the world right now. This means that you have a mission with your family, your church and your community today! God calls us to shine our light before men, and we can do that any day, at any age, anywhere. I would like to share with you my journey of how I came to see this in my own life.
“Lord, I want to be a missionary.” I can recall this being my prayer and greatest desire during my pre-teen years. My dream was to go to Central or South America and do something big for God. I was a young girl full of good intentions and ambitions, but a little miss led. My looking ahead into the far off future was causing me to fail in what God had set in front of me right there and then! This condition continued into my teens as I struggled with rebellion, discontentedness and insecurity. However, God in His mercy had not rejected me, a very sorry sheep though I was. He was using many circumstances and experiences to refine and shape me into a vessel He could use for his glory!
By the time I was 19 the Lord had fully delivered me from the struggles of my earlier years. The transformation was amazing, and I found myself living in a much brighter world! I started working for our local school district helping to look after their 40 international students housed in an old college dorm. It was the kind of job that didn’t feel like work at all, but the best part about it was the opportunity to share God’s love. Every day was a day to witness, mostly in actions, but at times also in word. During my two years there I realized that God uses us wherever we are, if we are open and willing. I was already a missionary, and I had been able to influence 80 different young people from over 10 different countries! Not once did I have to take a plane, or study a different language, or live anywhere else besides my own home. Isn’t our God amazing?
Three years later, I had settled into a routine of work at home and other ways to occupy myself. I still had the desire to someday go to another country, but it was now surrendered to the Lord. He had shown me that He would not move me anywhere until I was content where He had currently placed me. Right then my place was at home, serving my family and the others I was surrounded by. Between my cleaning jobs and elderly home care work, I was having plenty of opportunities to proclaim Christ. Best of all, I was content! If God were going to send me anywhere else, He would have to do it. That is exactly what happened next…
My friend Molly and I have both shared an interest for other countries, and a heart to serve wherever the Lord may lead. We began praying about going to Guatemala together, as my neighbors had family down there. In the spring of last year I mentioned it to our neighbor. She put me in touch with her son and daughter in law in Northern Guatemala and everything fell into place from there. In October we were on a plane bound for the jungles of Peten! We spent an amazing two months working in a clinic, cooking, cleaning, and just helping in any way that we could. I was especially blessed by the Christian fellowship, and the godly example of so many that we met. I came home with more love for Christ and an even deeper desire to serve and honor Him than when I left home. As I look back I am in awe of everything that God did for us, and I give Him all the glory!
While I don’t know yet what the future will hold for me and if I will return to Guatemala, I do know that my God has a plan. I don’t have to worry or try to figure this thing out! My mission right now is to be His servant wherever I am, trusting that He will lead the way. I would encourage any of you that have wanted to be a missionary as I have, to check your heart, and be diligent first in whatever God has you doing right now. He doesn’t move us until we have learned to serve where we are! Our life is full of opportunities to share His love within our family, the church, and with the world of lost people right outside our own front doors! Never write off the small things, for Jesus said, “He that is faithful in least shall be faithful also in much.” Everything we do for God counts, whether small or great! Lets be faithful, and prepared to go wherever He may lead.
Lydia B. (22) writes from WI where she grows produce for markets along side her family of eight. She enjoys cooking, sewing, home improvement projects, animals, gardening, and most of all desires to be used for God’s glory.