Question about Guidance for missionaries:
"What words of encouragement would you give to those who are looking into full-time missions?"
If God has called you, follow his call. If God has called you, the provision is already there. If God has called you, it's out of the boat and onto the water. By grace I've experienced giving it all away and going. There is no better life. Keep your eyes on the one who calls. He is faithful. He will do it!
If God has called you, then go. My mistake was waiting for twenty-five years. The rewards of helping and leading others to Christ are beyond anything you will comprehend this side of heaven. We have ministered to several thousands and as few as five. If Paul had not been obedient to his call, we would not have three-fourths of the New Testament. Prepare yourself and go! If the call is from God, he will sustain you.
Before you leave, learn all you can about the country to which you plan to go. Lower your expectations so your culture shock is minimal. Focus on Jesus, who sends you; it is his harvest and plan to win the lost to his kingdom, not ours.
For the most fruit, go with your ears open to his plan and let him be the boss. His strategies may seem strange and may be past finding out, yet he does not without from those who will trust and serve him, not themselves, their agenda, or their mission agency.
The harvest is huge! So many need a Savior and so many need training on how to lead people to Christ and disciple them. Even many pastors need to be discipled themselves. There is a place just for you to fill. Let God show that place to you. He'll bless your socks right off!
"Don’t let difficulties stop you."
If things are difficult, do not use these difficulties as an indication that you should not go! Everything went wrong after I decided to go! I did not "spiritualize" these things. I just dealt with them.
"We are never completely ready for life events."
Lots of people and lots of agencies will give you all the reasons you are not ready to go. Being ready is a myth. We are never ready for life events. Who is ever ready to get married, be a parent, comfort someone in pain, etc? We may read all the books and ask all the questions, but if you don't launch out and do it you will be in eternal preparation mode.
Afraid of failure? Peter stepped out of the boat and totally failed - sank. But God pulled him out and, though he was soaking wet, no one laughed at him. He had taken more steps on water than any of them. So go for it.
"Pray a lot. Pick well. Prepare well."
PRAY about this a lot. Getting involved in cross-cultural work isn’t easy. It’s hard. You will need God’s power, renewed daily, to make it.
PICK your agency well. Who you work with is almost as important as the work you do. You will need the support and accountability provided by those around you. You want them to be for you, not against you.
PREPARE well. Though preparation is not a guarantee against failure, going without preparing will almost always guarantee that you will fail, or at best be ineffective. Don’t let preparation stall you but don’t let the lack of it make you irrelevant.
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