So there I was, living comfortably in the house we talked about having our grandchildren visit. My business was at the point where I could look out the next few years and see it really blossoming. We had been married 15 years, had seven children, a great faith community, etc. I guess I felt like I had become the man God wanted me to be, and maybe I had in some ways.
Next thing I know, my wife Elizabeth and I feel that God is calling us to be full-time missionaries. Why?
We felt He was calling us:
1) To act upon the Great Commission to take the Gospel to the ends of the Earth,
2) So that He could put us in special place of protection for our marriage and our children, and
3) So that He could bring us beyond where we were in our faith journey – and for me, to a place to be a better man.
In short, I will tell you that I became a better man because I became more dependent upon Him and less drawn to the things of this world. For Him to accomplish that in me, I had to put myself in a position where I HAD to depend on Him. I would no longer “earn” a living, but my family and I would depend on the generosity of benefactors. I would no longer be doing something that I had be schooled and trained for and that I had done for 15 years. I would take my family and live in a foreign country where I had never been and where they spoke a language I did not know. I was going to a place where every day I woke up and put my complete trust in His provision.
That made me a better man.
The beauty of His calling: The Best Life! What an adventure our life in missions is! What man has not thought about packing everything you own in your vehicle and heading south? And I got to do it for 3 years! Yes, the day-to-day life was not as comfortable, but the amazing people and places made my life in missions seem, in a way, like an extended vacation. And you think you have job satisfaction now? Nothing compares to giving your life in the total service of others, especially those who struggle to care for themselves.
In one sentence, what does being a missionary mean to me? Surrendering yourself completely so as to become complete.
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