A letter to the next generation. By Patricia B* (a long-term worker in the Gulf)
Sometimes we can think that we need to be a certain ‘type’ of person to get involved in those overseas projects that we hear about. Our excuse for not being able to get involved may be our life stage, finances or family circumstance. Consequently, those things that we would like to do, seem to only be accessible in our dreams!
Not seeing, but still believing.
But as is often the case when working with God, we can find ourselves needing to walk into new situations by faith, rather than looking at what seems immediately possible in the world around us (See 2 Corinthians 5:7). When we were initially considering moving to the Arab world, we only had a vague idea of how we might serve. But then someone advised us that different gifts and skills are valued in overseas mission: coordination, evangelism, teaching, business. Also people with gifts of hospitality and encouragement, plus countless others.
Different gifts. Different opportunities.
We have seen God use individuals with different backgrounds and skills in overseas outreach. Maybe you’re thinking “What could I possibly offer?” or “I don’t have the capacity to give of myself towards missions.” What about your possibilities? God can open doors in surprising ways, because nothing is impossible with Him (Luke 1:37).
So imagine this: A busy family with small children is out on mission. How can this family possibly fit into a missional context when evenings are full of bath times, bedtime stories and loud cries to the tune of “Feed me!”? Well, their home happens to be an ideal place for a small Bible study group to meet in. So what do they do? They make their home available. Meanwhile, the Lord gifts another member of the team with the ability to teach and lead Bible studies each week. Then, other workers are sent by God to the region with the ability and means to meet one-on-one with local attendees of the study group, to encourage them with personalised discipleship. The list goes on.
Little steps, BIG impact.
We truly see our time spent on mission as a privilege. Every day we are living in communities that clearly need Christ, but have had limited opportunities to hear about Him. Through prayers, hospitality, loving service and teamwork with fellow workers, we are able to make a small difference with a message that is transforming the nations. Trust me, when I say that cross-cultural workers are ordinary people. We are ordinary people who can do extraordinary things with God.
*Name changed for security reasons.
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