5 Signs You Might Be Called to Missions
When we experience a tug toward becoming a missionary, we start looking for signs. We may google “signs of a missionary calling” or look at other missionaries and wonder if we could be like them.
You can find many “5 signs” lists on the interwebs. Here is my own take: five stereotypical characteristics of those with a missionary calling. It’s meant to be fun. If you think I’m wrong or just plain crazy, at least read to the end before making a final judgment 🙂
Sign 1: You prefer sandals to other footwear
Are you a hobbit at heart, leaving your toes exposed as often as possible? Do you rejoice when the weather is warm enough for sandals—and then leave them on until the first snow?
You just might love being a missionary then. Sandals are the official footwear of mission workers. Preferences range from Chacos to Tevas to Bedrock (this is not a paid endorsement). We love sandals because they are practical and versatile. You can wear them to trek through the mud as you travel to a village for ministry. Then you can rinse them off and pair them with a skirt or dress pants for Mass.
Sandals fit whether your feet feel normal or swollen. They make really cool tan lines on your feet. And when it gets cold, just add a pair of wool socks for continued comfort.
Love sandals and want to try walking a mile in ours? You should reach out about discerning a missionary calling.
Sign 2: You enjoy exotic food
Are you the friend that always wants to go somewhere different to eat? Do you choose Pad Thai or pho over burgers and fries?
Well, that might be the very thing that is preparing you for some very…unique food and drink.
When you travel to a foreign land for mission, you’ll get a taste (literally) of the unique cuisine of each country you visit – cuisine formed by tradition and the resources available locally.
You may be surprised to learn that you can eat fried ants and live to tell about it, or that guinea pig is actually a delicacy (and quite delicious, too). You’ll encounter soups and drinks made from…well, I won’t ruin all of the surprises for you.
You’ll also encounter some of the best flavors in the world (with local spices and herbs)—one of which may become your new favorite. And you’ll likely be blown away by the hospitality offered you when you share a meal with your new neighbors.
If you’re looking for a taste of something new, mission life might be the place for you.
Sign 3: You love adventure
Do you want adventure in the great big somewhere? Are you curious about other cultures and what life looks like for those who live in those cultures? Do you have a desire to experience things out of the ordinary?
Well, get ready for the adventure of your life. Let the wind blow through your hair as you ride the back of a pickup truck through the mountains. Experience the thrill of fear as you jump over a waterfall. Enjoy off-roading on a motorbike or buggy. There’s nothing quite like it!
Even going grocery shopping can be an adventure outside of your home country. How about an open market with more potato varieties than you ever knew existed? Want to try a fruit that looks like cotton or a vegetable made from cactus? Of course, you do! You’ll find all this and more when you step outside of your comfort zone and make a home among new people.
If experiencing something different doesn’t scare the heck out of you, you might be among those called to take the Gospel to a foreign culture.
Sign 4: You’re a minimalist
Have you found yourself getting rid of things and being fulfilled with less? Is it getting easier and easier to say, “I don’t really need this?”
My fellow ladies, have you given away any shoes or handbags lately? (Why do we have such a tendency to collect these two things?)
Do you believe that “less is more?” Are you content with last year’s iPhone model and a used car?
A healthy view of material possessions is good for any Christian, but if you feel more minimalist than those around you, maybe God is preparing you for something. Having less will certainly make packing everything into a couple of suitcases and moving overseas a whole lot easier for you.
Having less and living in solidarity with the poor isn’t always comfortable. But it’s a beautiful reminder that we are not to store up treasure here on earth.
So if you’ve been called a minimalist or have proclaimed yourself as one, you might want to ask yourself if God is leading you to radical minimalism as a foreign missionary.
Sign 5: You love Jesus and want to share Him with others
Ok, this is the real reason. Because God can mold us in spite of all our other preferences.
You may love shoes and prefer the comfort of your living room. You might not be an adventurous eater, or adventurous at all. You might have a lot of material possessions and be quite content with them.
You might not match these silly stereotypical characteristics of a missionary. Yes, stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, but actually, all missionaries are unique, with different temperaments and backgrounds. But what we have in common is a call to serve Christ in others, particularly the poor.
We all felt that tug on our hearts, a sense that we were called to something more. We all found our calling through an encounter with the living God. We all have a desire to share the God we have encountered with others, that they may also encounter Him more deeply.
So if you have even a tiny inkling that the Lord might be calling you to foreign missions, don’t be afraid to explore this possibility. Called or not, you might find that you really do enjoy wearing sandals all the time. And He’ll use every step in those sandals to lead you closer to Him.
Cate BroadbentBio page: catebroadbent.familymissionscompany.com
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