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Women Living Well Blog: I Gained A Bit of Perspective This Weekend

Women Living Well Blog

Monday, September 14, 2009

I Gained A Bit of Perspective This Weekend

Room #1 - Imagine your husband is called by God to go to the mission field - so with a 6, 4 and 1 year old you pack up all your belongings and for the first time ever you leave the US to head to Argentina to become a life long missionary. Imagine the sacrifice - leaving the comforts of your home, your family, your church, your friends, your language, your car, Target and Starbucks!

Saturday night our church put us on a simulated missionary journey and the true scenario above was the story of our missionary speaker whose children are now in their 20's. At this point - we all assumed a simulated call to the mission field and moved to room#2 where we began to think about raising support. A missionary to Jordan got choked up as he shared about the hardship he went through raising support for his wife and 3 children during the economic down turn in America last spring. He faced a lot of rejection and discouragment and spent much time on his knees in prayer dependence on God.

After raising support we moved to room #3 where we discovered the training involved for missionaries. Some spend years in Bible school and then language school before departing to begin their ministry.

Then with fake money in hand we moved to room #4 - time to get our passports, airline tickets, a Dr. check up and fill out mounds of paper work! We moved from station to station completing these tasks.

Then down the hall we went to board our plane to the field - we showed our passports and tickets and boarded our plane - the kids LOVED this part! With rows of chairs lining the hallway and stewardesses speaking another language - we enjoyed refreshments and a view out our window.

Once landing we went through customs - that was a hassle and we had to do some bribing to get us all through with our extra baggage! Then we boarded the very crammed bus with chickens on board and headed to our new home.

We arrived out back behind the church where tiki torches were lit and a bonfire was going.

Around the campfire one missionary shared his struggles - his ups and downs of his 20+ years of missions work. Our hearts were warmed with inspiration. I was thankful that my children could experience such a neat journey and have their eyes opened to the fascinating stories of these courageous men and women of faith.
I know that the kids of our age adore Lebron James and Hanna Montana...but can I just say - these heroes do not compare to the real heroes that stood before us that night. These brave and noble missionaries are the true heroes.

Who are your heroes? Who do you encourage your children to be someday? We need to expos our children to these heros through books, the web, or by attending these kinds of conferences.

Missionaries were a huge shaping force in my childhood heart. Our children need to know that they too serve a HUGE God who is worthy of such sacrifice. May we as moms and grandmas NEVER forget the sacrifice that some are making right this moment to further the gospel. We must pray for them and take a little perspective from them on how posh our life really is...and how much more we could serve God if only we had the courage!

John 3:30 "He must become greater, I must become less."NIV

Walk with the King!

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Anonymous Steph Crawford said...

Great post! That sounds like such a neat experience. When I grew up, the Sundays with missionary speakers were the Sundays we stayed home. I pray that my children will have a heart for missions because GOD has a heart for missions. Thanks for sharing. :)

September 14, 2009 at 7:07 AM  
Blogger Alicia, The Snowflake said...

Amen! I am so very grateful for the sacrifices our missionaries make to share the gospel with others. Thank you for the reminder to teach our children about them as well.

September 14, 2009 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous Kristi_runwatch said...

what an AMAZING idea!! I'll be touching base with you about that missions conference - I think that might be one our church borrows from you! :)

My husband and I both grew up in homes where missions was a frequent discussion. We often had missionaries staying at our house, and we had our own little map with pushpins where our missionaries were and had a box of their prayer cards that we would cycle through during family devotions.

Like you said, it was a gift and it was a formative influence in my walk with the Lord.

September 14, 2009 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger Morgan said...

That is so cool that your church set that up so you could see what it's like to walk in the missionaries' shoes.

Great reminder to be praying for them and supporting them.

September 14, 2009 at 12:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well laid out :) this brought tears to my eyes when you mentioned praying for the moms that are raising their families overseas/borders...i knew this, but never in those words. thanks for sharing and reminding us to pray, always pray!
-liz young

September 14, 2009 at 4:28 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Thorn said...

This was such a lovely post. What a great idea your church had. I bet many kids (and adults) will remember that night for many years. I often pray that no matter where my children end up that they would be useful for God.

September 15, 2009 at 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Michelle said...

Last year, our kids and I as we homeschooled with through the My Father's World (Exploring Countries and Cultures) curriculum. I highly recommend this curriculum to anyone who is homeschooling. This ministry uses all the money they make from the curriculum and puts it into bible translations. Anyway, We read biographies of many missionaries. It really opened my eyes up to this world of missions. I would have loved to have my kids attend something like this. They would have really understood it so much better. I was in YWAM for 6-7 months after graduating high school so I know a little bit about missions. We were in Mexico and Cuba. One thing I realized though is that even though you are surrounded by Christians who are all serving the same God, people are human and missionaries have the same problems with other people as we do in the work or family world. There is alot of disagreements and self righteous behaviors. One thing was for sure, if you lose sight of why God has you there, you lose sight of the mission God has sent you on. I love reading the stories of true missionaries who have hearts devoted to God and are in missions for the right reasons. I actually know a few missionaries that went into missions without getting their own family in order first. It ended up disastrous. So I admire missionaries and those in ministry that do seek the Lord and want His purposes fulfilled, not their own. My favorite story is of Nate Saint. That story makes me cry every single time I hear about it. I bet this experience will stay with your family for a long time too.

September 16, 2009 at 12:15 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

What an awesome way to share the missionary's life!!
I would much rather read about a real life missionary than to read fiction. even 'christian' fiction. I would rather read about what God has done in real life. missionary biographies are my favorite.
I am looking forward to hearing you at Relevant!

October 12, 2010 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger thegypsymama said...

Wow Courtney! That's the most amazing missions presentation I've ever heard about. Just brilliant. What a great way to really engage the kids in sharing in the experience from a first hand perspective! I'm gonna remember that one!

Thanks so much for linking up today, we sure can never appreciate our missionaries enough!


October 12, 2010 at 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Dear Courtney,

I don't usually comment on blogs but I felt I had to on this one. I love this post and not just because of what your church did. What they did was awesome and is a great idea of portraying the journeys of a missionary and not just the good, challenging parts! I would recommend it to all churches!

What touched me was to hear your heart for those who chose to leave everything for the purpose God has placed on their lives. I wish more people could have an understanding of what it really means when a missionary says yes.

You see, I am one of those who decided it was my job to support my husbands call to the field. Our kids were 13, 11, and 9 when we started the process. It took four years of raising support, switching our destination, battling cancer, taking care of ill parents before we were able to finally leave...with excited but also heavy hearts.

My husband and my siblings are much younger than us, so we are missing the firsts of many things. I missed our first niece being born and we are missing seeing our two young nephews experience life through their eyes. The first Easter we watched through skype as the two little boys did the Easter egg hunt my boys are used to doing with them, through tears. The firsts are always hard, but now with our boys older, we are looking at sending them off to start their own lives half way around the world from us. So many things we will not get to experience with them as they learn to grow and make their own paths. Yet another opportunity to leave everything we desire at the altar of our Jesus.

There is so much joy and blessing in following God's call on our lives, but their is grief too. We struggle like any other family, only we do it in the midst of cultural meltdowns because we forget how to say the sentence right or the person can't figure out that we aren't speaking English, but their language! We don't live a "glory story" every day and we are "just" living here either. It's hard to express this to people back home sometimes.

I'm not quite sure why I am pouring out my thoughts like this to you, someone I don't know and have read for the very first time today. Maybe it is one of those days where my heart needs emptying, yet everyone back home is living life like you aren't there...which is the case!

Don't get me wrong, I don't think it should be any different. Each circumstance we encounter here, whether it be physically, emotionally, or spiritually, is preparing us for what is to come. There is not greater joy than to stand in obedience to our Father and allowing Him to be our leader, our counselor, and our comforter. How blessed are we that He has chosen us, normal, everyday people, to be His servants overseas!

Thank you for sharing your experience at your church. Thank you for your compassionate heart towards missions. Thank you for encouraging me today!

Many blessings to you and your family!

October 12, 2010 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

Kim - thank you for pouring your heart out!!! This is a place where you can do just that and know that I read every single comment and pray over all my readers.

Missionaries truly are my heroes! There is no one braver or more courageous for Jesus in my eyes. Elizabeth Elliot and Amy Carmichael were my childhood role models and I still have moments where quotes from their books come to mind and I am inspired to push myself out of my comfort zone a bit more.

I am praying for your right now - may God bless you 100 fold for your sacrifice. Do not grow weary in doing good (Galatians 6:9) - press on - persevere - endure! We serve a worthy God!!!

This sister in Christ is cheering you on from afar. And if I could I would give you a HUGE (((hug))) to comfort you in the midst of tears.

Remember in heaven - no more tears and it's because of this hope that we press on.

Keep walking with the King!!! You are a mighty warrior in my eyes!

Much Love,

October 12, 2010 at 11:13 PM  
Anonymous Laura Parker @ Life Overseas said...

Hi there,

Loved this post and the activity put on by your church. What a neat idea, and one that probably really made missions as a family more of a reality. I loved reading about it.

I am here in Thailand with my three small children, and I can relate to much of the process you wrote about. Thanks for sharing and for the encouragement you are giving women . . .

In Him,
Laura Parker

October 13, 2010 at 11:21 AM  

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