Our church had a Mission's Conference this past weekend. What a wonderful 3 days!! My husband and I are both on the missions committee, and we have spent most of the last 3 days at the church... what an exhausting 3 days!
We got to spend time talking to and getting to know missionaries who get to serve God all over the world. As we talked to these wonderful men and women of God, I realized (or remembered), some important lessons.
Missionaries are people, just like us. They are not "Super-Saints". They struggle spiritually, in their homes and families, in their finances, in relationships with those they minister to and those they are ministering with. They are not "happy" all the time. They are not serious all the time. They live life just like Christians here do... one day at a time, doing what God calls them to do.
The other thing that hit me was that these missionaries don't just want money from our church, they want a relationship. They want us to know them so we can pray for them on a personal level. They want to share their struggles and their victories with us. They want us to love them, to care for them, to pray for them, and to communicate with them. They get discouraged and lonely, just like I do, and they need to hear that we care about them and haven't forgotten them.
God has been leading me over this past year to put much more emphasis on praying for others. In preparation for the missions conference, my prayer was that the missionaries would be encouraged and refreshed in the time they spent with us. As I saw that played out over the weekend, I really felt a burden to stay in contact with some of them, to continue not just praying for them, but communicating with them as well; sharing my life with them and allowing them to share theirs, and thereby being able to pray more specifically and with more passion and commitment.
LOL, We spent some time with Steve and Kyhee Taylor, who are heading for Japan this summer. As a martial artist the Asian nations always catch my attention. After talking to them I informed my husband that I am sure that God is leading me to be a missionary to the Kodokan... but I guess maybe that wasn't God calling me, probably it was training and sushi and saki calling me.