Be sure to read part I of this blog post!
Before joining missions I never…
…thought of living with others for the purpose of discipleship.
I have been familiar with Christian ministry since I was young. However, I never thought of literally living with someone 24/7 like Jesus and the disciples. Back home, we might meet a few times a week and chat on social media to disciple someone. I thought I was too young to live with someone and have an influence on their lives and to show them the true me—including my weaknesses that still need God's help. Jesus started His lifestyle ministry at the age of 30, which is not that far from where I am. Since joining missions, I have spent my life with many people living close by. It is very hard because you cannot hide at all. People see you eating, cooking, being lazy, what you’re watching on your phone, etc. They can really tell if you live out what you say. I am not perfect, but living together, or close to each other, has been a truly great way to impact others. – Ivy, from Taiwan, serving at Lake Tanganyika
…played 20 questions to guess what I'd just eaten for lunch.
We were in the Amazon Jungle of Peru and had this delicious meat for lunch—something no one on my team recognised. It turned out to be monkey one day and turtle another day. This brought a whole new level of adventure, even though we were already sleeping in hammocks in huts without walls and bathing in a river with biting fish! – Kristen, from the USA, serving in Argentina
…knew there was more than one way to share the gospel.
There isn't one method or tool that will work in every language and cultural group. You have to adapt and be flexible in how you approach every situation. Sharing the gospel isn't only knocking on doors or only preaching in church. It is so much more. And it makes perfect sense that there is no perfect method; God created all of us with different mindsets and perspectives, that makes missions such a wonderful learning curve ball. But the basis of all methods is love. Love all nations. – Renette, from South Africa, serving Africa Area
…thought my children would be homeschooled.
In the Netherlands, homeschooling is not allowed. Going to an international school after some years at a local school—that was my hope for my kids. But no good international schools in our city has resulted in my boys being homeschooled from age 10 or 11. Every day I need patience and strength, and over and over again I realise how much I need to trust God for the future of our boys. I know that the most important people I disciple are my boys. The way I help and support them, the way I handle my frustrations and worries about school are an example for them. I learn again and again that I need to lift my eyes up to the mountains as that's where my help comes from. – Loïs, from the Netherlands, serving in Turkey
…knew that I already was a missionary.
I remember meeting missionaries as a kid. In my mind, they were extra holy and if you spent time with them some of that holiness would rub off on you. Almost like glitter, you just need to be close to the source. Fast forward 20 years and I joined missions. Thinking back, I was proud of my 'humble' decisions to give it all up and become a missionary. Now I know that all Christians are missionaries—missionaries aren't an elite group of people who get VIP treatment in heaven and one doesn't need to join an organisation to be a missionary. You are a missionary, right there where you work, play and live! – Renette, from South Africa, serving Africa Area
Now it’s your turn! What did you never think you would never do before joining missions?