Before joining missions I never… (Part I)

For this week’s blog post we asked OM writer's to finish this sentence: “Before joining missions I never…”

You can read all the books and listen to all the Podcasts in preparation for joining missions, but there will always be surprises. Experiences you never thought would happen to you (until you’re standing wide-eyed right in the middle of them). Things you never imagined you could live without (until the ‘necessities’ all of a sudden become the ‘luxuries’). Food you never expected to eat (until it’s placed right in front of you and everyone is waiting for you to take a bite).

Continue reading to find out what surprised missionaries around the world!

Before joining missions I never…

…expected to have such a diverse, scattered group of friends.

I have friends. Do they all live in the same town? No, not even on the same continent. Do we see each other every week? No, maybe once a year. Friendship in missions is a bit odd. You would expect it to be easy to make friends with people who have the same interests and lifestyle choices but it's not always. We are a bunch of international weirdos who move around and change cell phone numbers a lot. Keeping track of where my friends are is sometimes done through their Instagram posts. I might not have a traditional group of friends who meet weekly, but the friendships I have made since joining missions—with people all over the world of different ages and backgrounds—have quickly reached a depth level that I don't necessarily have with my local buddies whom I see regularly. – Renette, from South Africa, serving Africa Area

…thought I would eat (and enjoy!) horse meat.

In my passport country it is against the law to eat horse meat. Not many people know that because, for most people, the thought of eating horse meat would never even cross their mind! But here in our Central Asian home the national dish is boiled horse meat served on homemade flat noodles and onions, with fermented horse or camel’s milk as the accompanying drink. If you are invited for a meal and your host serves you horse meat, it is an honour. This meal is prepared on special occasions and at celebrations. Now, I have bought the meat at our bazaar (we’ve gotten to know the best horse meat seller) and I’ve learnt to prepare it together with Central Asian friends. – Beth, from the global south, serving in Central Asia

…fully realised the spiritual hopelessness of the least reached. 

One day I was on a train in India and realised that of the hundreds of people on that train, my friends and I were the only Christians (statistically speaking). Looking into the eyes of the Hindu and Muslim men, women and children around me broke my heart. A few days later, I attended a coming-of-age ceremony for a young Hindu man, and watched as his grandmother prostrated herself in front of her household idols, entreating through tears for the success and happiness of her grandson. It only strengthened my desire to share the life-giving hope of God's love with whoever wanted to hear it. – Kristen, from the USA, serving in Argentina

…imagined I could survive using a long drop (with creatures in it!).

You know that girl who screams like they're in a horror movie and freezes with fear when she sees a cockroach? Yep, that was me. I was once a total city girl who could not stand even a little dirt on my feet and I had a slight phobia of insects. I still remember one day in a village when someone came out of the long drop and told me there were cockroaches inside. I had just conquered my fear of using a long drop, but the roaches took it to the next level. I just had to pray. And I made it! ! I still don't like long drops at all, however, I learnt that they’re not that bad. Many things I was previously afraid of are actually no big deal. To be honest, I cannot pinpoint why I was so afraid. Maybe I thought it would make me sick and ill. Well, with proper hand washing and extra protection from Jesus, I can survive the long drops and roaches. – Ivy, from Taiwan, serving at Lake Tanganyika 

…knew that my skills had a place on the field.

Teacher? Always needed. Doctor? Of course. Preacher? Fantastic! But photographer? Could photography really be used to serve God? Yes, I believe it can. Photography helps tell the stories of what God is doing across the world and encourage believers! Plus, going up to someone and asking to take their photo has opened countless doors and started many conversations. I’ve met many people with vastly different skill sets who are all using their talents to serve God. Whatever your skills are—from graphic design to athletics, architecture to baking—they can be used to spread the good news! – Rebecca, from Canada, serving Africa Area

Now it’s your turn! Complete the following sentence: Before joining missions I never…

And don’t forget to check back next week for part II!

Share this Resource

Leave a Reply

You might also like:

SIEM Solutions International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThe candidate will have a passion for SIEM solutions. You will have previously worked with SIEM solutions and have a passion for cyber security and technology. You will act as a subject matter expert specifically focused on cloud security, automation, and monitoring technologies. This position will work alongside our IT Infrastructure team.

Remote work possible. Would need to work where they have at least 2-3 hrs overlap with the Europe time zone.

Full Details
International Management Accountant International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThe role exists to support all levels of leadership to make excellent financial decisions to support OM’s ministry of seeing Vibrant Communities of Jesus Followers among the least reached. 

The goal is to provide up to date, complete and easy to use Finance reports for Global and Field leadership.

Full Details
Accounting Software (Xledger) Deployment Facilitator International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleThis role exists to  facilitate the deployment of finance tools and systems being rolled out across OM’s 110+ offices to help the organisation enhance its ministry of seeing vibrant communities of Jesus followers among the least reached.
Full Details
Bookkeeper International    Go & Live    January 2023MediaWorks is looking for a bookkeeper to process the team’s financial transactions to ensure the smooth running and continuation of their media ministry. As you work in finance, you are releasing a team of graphic designers, software developers and content editors to produce and distribute media that share God’s love with the least reached in their heart languages.
Full Details
Storyteller and Scriptwriter International    Go & Live    September 2022MediaWorks is looking for a Storyteller and Scriptwriter to strengthen their team. Working together with our graphic designers, software developers and content editors, you will play a vital role in creating media that share God’s love with the least reached in their heart languages.
Full Details
IT support person International    Go & Live    September 2022MediaWorks is looking for an on-site IT support person to ensure the smooth running of their print and digital media ministry’s infrastructure. As you support a creative team of graphic designers, software developers and eBook programmers, you are making it possible to produce Christian media in the heart-languages of the least reached around the world.
Full Details
DevOps Engineer International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleLooking for a DevOps Engineer to join our IT infrastructure department. This is a key role that focuses on building and maintaining the tooling and infrastructure used to automate the security, configuration management, deployment, and upgrade processes for servers. This individual will work on developing the automated pipelines as well as providing consulting services to application and infrastructure teams in automated CI/CD, test and release automation. This role will be responsible for the
Full Details
Sportslink International Team Communication Facilitator International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWe see God at work through our sports ministries, but we need someone to help us to tell our stories better. We need someone who is dedicated, dynamic, creative, team minded and has great communication skills. Are you the person who can effectively tell the story of what God is doing through Sportslink?  Join us and use your gifts and skills to share God’s stories across the globe.
Full Details
Incarnate Manager – Inspiro Arts Alliance International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleDo you love to organize complex events? Can you imagine touching every corner of the globe with beauty by helping equip artists to serve cross-culturally?

Inspiro Arts Alliance cultivates and empowers artists globally to awaken the world to God's beauty. Incarnate is our flag-ship training that runs over over 4 months in multiple locations.

We’ve got the program and connections. We need a manager to make it work smoothly and efficiently. Could that be you?

Full Details
Catalytic Ministries Area Chief Finance Officer International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleWe’re looking for a person of integrity who is passionate about finance and about seeing people become followers of Jesus. In this key role, you will help OM’s Catalytic Ministries around the world impact the kingdom of God by providing accountability for financial transactions and reporting. Join us and use your skills for God's glory.
Full Details
Short-term Project Mobiliser – Inspiro Arts Alliance International    Go & Live    As soon as possibleHelp mobilise artists into specialized, artistic short-term mission projects. Inspire, equip and connect artists globally into the right projects, internships and other short-term opportunities.

Inspiro Arts Alliance is cultivating and empowering artists globally to love through beauty in worship and witness.

You can play a key part in building this global movement of artists on mission.

Full Details
Fundraiser International    Go & Live    September 2022Do you have a heart for fundraising for God’s Kingdom? MediaWorks is looking for a Fundraiser to ensure we have the resources needed to run media ministry. As you support our work on Media Strategy, Creation and Distribution, you are making it possible to produce media that share God’s love with the least reached in their heart languages.
Full Details