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3 More Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became a Missionary

Aug 19, 2022 10:22:44 AM


1. Have an eye for redemption


When you’re on outreach, You’re going to see a lot of things in different cultures that are pretty strange to you. You might even be disgusted by some aspects of different cultures. Slow down, Take a step back and ask yourself why you’re reacting in the way you do. 

There was a concept that was introduced to me during DTS called ethnocentrism. It’s the idea that the culture you come from is better than every other one. It’s natural to compare a new culture to the one we came from, but be careful you don’t automatically assume yours is superior. Ethnocentrism is not discernment, and don’t act like it is.

When you encounter things that don’t align with the ways of Jesus, Then you can pray to see God’s heart for how he wants to transform that aspect of culture. 

People that don’t know Jesus are going to act like people that don’t know Jesus because they don’t have the same standards.

Remember that people without Jesus will try to get their needs met in all sorts of ways that don’t honor Him.

…And so do you and I sometimes. It just might be more obvious when you observe other people, because they’re new to you. 

Here’s what Jesus says in Luke 6:42 when the religious teachers of His day were saying similar things,

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

People connect with flaws so think of ways you find it hard to meet your needs in Jesus, have some humility, and admit to those things. Then you can introduce them to the ways of Jesus and let Him do the transforming.

Also, redemption isn’t just going to happen instantaneously…

2. Things take time


The things of God sometimes take a lot longer than we want them to. This is one of the most deeply frustrating things about believing in Jesus. 

If you take a look throughout scripture, you’ll see examples of people having to wait on God. 

When Joseph was wrongly imprisoned back in Genesis 39, it took so many years of waiting before God allowed him to be elevated to a position of authority.

For Moses it took 40+ years in the desert praying for God to bring the Israelites to the promised land. There are still even more stories in the Bible of the people of God waiting and praying for the move of God.

It would be weird to think we don’t need to wait on God as well.

3. Normalize asking for encouragement and prayer


Honestly, it can get pretty lonely being part of the few Jesus-followers in a nation, so make sure you’re praying for and encouraging each other. You don’t have to be ashamed of asking for help or having needs. Jesus Himself got weak, tired, thirsty, and hungry. I want to encourage you to be honest with yourself and others so you know how to come alongside each other physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it says, “So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

And in Hebrews 3:13 it says, “But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”

God is wanting us to partner with Him in His ministry, let’s go to the source to get the energy and ideas we need.

During my DTS, something me and one of my friends started doing toward the end of our outreach was praying for each other at the end of the day before bed.

It was getting towards the end of our outreach and we were getting tired of ministry. It was the first time both of us had been out of the US for this long. 

We had hit some pretty intense mental, emotional, and spiritual blocks, and we knew we couldn’t do this without God’s intervention. 

It ended up being one of the best decisions we made. (I mean, duh, of course seeking God is always a good idea), but we really noticed looking back how our attitudes and energy shifted to be more Christlike even though our situation didn’t change. It’s a lot easier when you know you’re not alone.

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