Psalm 146:2 "I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thoughts On Missions And Transition

Hi Everyone,

One of my great secrets and weaknesses is that I don't really like change or transition. However, as a cross-cultural worker I have a life that is quite full of both. Actually everyone's life is full of both, but there can be some added transitions when you live and work in another country and culture.

Transitions make me usually feel very vulnerable and I have to really keep my guard up when I am in the midst of them. Times of transition are the times that I am more likely to give into discouragement, and a whole host of other behaviors that I would much rather not have in my life. Anyone who thinks that a cross cultural worker or missionary's life "over there" is better than where you are right now really may have an inaccurate idea of things.

New support systems, friends, language, culture, and learning, understanding, and ministering according to how the people you are working with to communicate the gospel clearly,----- have to be in place and that can take much time. It can be hard to leave when you absolutely love where God has placed you, but at the same time you realize that God is leading you to serve Him elsewhere for this time, and you know that OBEYING HIM is what matters and will bring the greatest joy and reward. You have to continually try to "get out of the box" somewhat from your own thinking and cultural ideas so that you can begin to grasp where those you are seeking to reach are coming from.

But transitions in missions (or any other type of transition) are also a time for great growth if you allow God to use it in your life. He wants to use everything to shape us and mold us to be more like Him--and many parts of the transition although hard at times can truly be enjoyable when they are faced with Christ's attitude and perspective.

I have to remind myself of these things when I go through the moments where I realize that I am already beginning to feel the "crunch of the clock"---recognizing that I won't have time to see everyone that I desire to before leaving, or when I just need to prioritize and really examine what is important.

In the end it really is worth it all---and a privilege that not everyone has in the exact same way!--even in the midst of missions and transition.

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