Lauren wrote this post for MTC Canada’s blog at www.jointheimpossible.com.
My husband and I are pursuing life as church planters with New Tribes Mission in an unreached people group in Asia-Pacific. During one of the training courses, Jungle Camp, I was brought out of my comfort zone and greatly challenged. It was only the first week and I was already thinking, “There’s no way that I can be a missionary. This is too hard. I’m not good at this here, so how am supposed to do this in a different culture?”
One of my fears is that I’m not going to be a very good missionary or that I’ll head overseas and something will happen and we’ll have to come back home. Failing is one of my fears. I’ve been wanting to be a missionary since I was 10 years old, and it’s very easy to find my identity as a missionary and to be discouraged when I’m not doing a good job at it. The Bible says that “hope deferred makes the heart sick” (Proverbs 13:12).
What’s the end goal? What if I am the worst missionary ever and my family has to come back home because of me? I had to look at God’s Word and apply it to my life. God has called us to be missionaries and has given us everything we need to do it (Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3), BUT the goal of our lives isn’t missions… It’s to bring glory to God through our lives, and that looks like pleasing Him through our obedience and thankfulness and becoming more like His Son. Missions provides a lot of opportunities for us to grow in our attitude, in our thankfulness, and contentment, and missions is something that God desires for us to be a part of, but that’s not the only purpose He has planned for our lives. We could be missionaries and still be displeasing God.
If we go overseas, and things don’t go the way we thought or planned, we haven’t failed in God’s eyes. He still views us as His loving children and there is no condemnation for those who have placed their trust in Him. Being a missionary will continually remind us how we need to rely on Him in every aspect of our lives and that His grace is enough for all of our weaknesses. We have to keep in mind the worst-case scenario, and the worst thing that could happen is that we don’t bring glory to God.
We’d love to talk and pray with you about how God can use you to reach the unreached. Feel free to send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.