Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Being Transparent

As a missionary wife, I use this blog to communicate from my perspective the life that we experience here on the mission field. So many times, missionaries only share the side of life that they want people to see, giving a misleading idea of what it is truly like to live and serve in a foreign country.

I have written before about the "romance" of missions. It seems like such a glorious task, and it is--to share the gospel to the regions beyond. It is a high calling. With it comes tremendous responsibility, as we represent our Lord as ambassadors for Christ. Lately I have been struggling with an onslaught of negative emotions--loneliness, isolation, disappointment, hopelessness, feeling forgotten, fears of the future, etc. and I was wondering what was wrong with me. I realized that more than ever before I needed God to intervene on my behalf, and I sought His help and strength to get me through the trial I was experiencing. He answered and brought healing and peace to my mind, as I claimed His promises from His word.

Currently I am reading a book written by a dear missionary friend of mine who has been in Italy for nearly 30 years. They have been faithful to a field that is certainly a difficult place to start a "Baptist" church, or any type of evangelical church for that matter. They really don't understand the differences between any religion that isn't Catholic. To them we are all a cult but hopefully that is changing as they become exposed to various cultures. I appreciate her honesty and transparency as she shares from the heart the trials that every missionary goes through as they endeavor to learn the language, the culture, and the rejection they experience from people who are basically indifferent or closed to Biblical Christianity. It brought comfort to know that she too had the same trials and conflicts that I have been experiencing.

In many ways the Canary Islands are similar to Italy in that they share the European culture and mindset. Years of tradition, and humanistic teaching among the younger generation has produced apathy--and we see much of that in the United States as well, but not to the same degree. In the states there is at least a flicker of light shining--Christian radio stations broadcast freely, there is a remnant of gospel preaching churches, and we are still the greatest missionary sending country in the world.

Pray for your missionaries as they labor in the field. A dear friend of mine recently told me that I was on her heart--and for good reason. She didn't know of the deep trials that I had been going through, but God did. I am convinced that the prayers of the saints carry us through when sometimes we feel powerless to utter anything but the simpliest of prayers, but those are the kind God hears.

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