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3 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became A Missionary

Jul 29, 2022 12:00:00 PM

1. It’s Not / Shouldn’t Be Colonialism.

I’ve talked with a lot of people about their issues with missions and this one comes up constantly. I don’t just want to dismiss it, but missions when done properly empowers people

You’re not trying to rob people of their culture, you’re just trying to introduce them to Jesus, and the good news of the gospel. People still have their free will to choose.

History is full of broken people misrepresenting Jesus. We need to recognize where people went wrong and do better in the future. Sometimes people disrespect culture and wound others thinking they’re doing missions and that is a tragedy. People need to see the proper heart of God and you can be a part of correcting the past.

Speaking of God’s heart, In Revelation 7, a scene is described where there’s people from every tribe, tongue, and nation worshiping God. He’s always wanted nations all through the scriptures. His promise to Abraham in Genesis 12 was so that he and his family could be a blessing to ALL nations.

And we have that same mission today.

There’s a lot of ways Christians in other countries taught me to follow God in ways  I couldn’t have learned in America, specifically in the realm of social justice.

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow." - Isaiah 1:17

"He has shown you, o mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to walk humbly with your God." - Micah 6:8 

During My DTS one of our speakers told us: “The gospel critiques all cultures” 

However, there needs to be balance here. In your travels you’re going to encounter things that aren’t in line with God’s design, and you’re going to have the chance to confront it; Which brings me to my next point...

2. Get Comfortable With Conflict.

This really sucks. I’m someone who tends to be conflict avoidant so I wouldn’t tell you this if it wasn’t true. 

You will offend each other. That’s what happens when you live in community. We are limited human beings that make mistakes.

As it says in Ephesians 4:32, “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

I want to challenge you to remember the forgiveness of God, and do the same.

Also in James 4:6 “...God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Repentance should be a repeated practice, and it doesn’t always have to be a heavy thing. 

You’re in a new culture surrounded by new everything, you’re going to do something wrong at some point. Apologize when you do, and keep moving forward.

As one of my DTS speakers told me, “The road to the cross should be well worn.”

Keep surrendering, and “draw near to the throne of Grace” like it says in Hebrews 4:16.

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." - 1 John 1:9

 3. Your Story Is More Powerful Than You Think.

People need to see what God is doing in your life! Someone needs to believe God can do what he’s done in your life for them. You have the power to give the hope of the gospel, and people can’t really argue with a testimony. That’s your story and no one can take that away from you. Think of how your life has changed since knowing Jesus.

In my missionary journey, there have been several times I’ve told a story from my life that I thought no one would resonate with that ended up really encouraging who I was speaking to.

“And they have defeated [the enemy] by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony…” - Revelation 12:11

This is saying that the central gospel message of Jesus’ death and resurrection AND what God has done in your personal life is important and powerful!

There’s no age limit on bringing the encouragement of God! It says in 1 Timothy 4:12, Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Let God speak through the things you’ve experienced; if you think you’re unworthy, you’re in good company. If you think of all the classic Bible stories, most of the time God chooses to work through people that think they’re too much or not enough. People try to disqualify themselves from all sorts of things because they're weak and limited.  Could it be that that's exactly why God wants to work through you? Because of the fact that we are weak and limited, and it shows how big He is? God loves to work through us because he loves us so much.

Take comfort in this: YOU CAN’T MESS UP GOD’S PLANS BEYOND HIS ABILITY TO FIX THEM.

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