Thursday, October 1, 2015

You are a Missionary

For years growing up, our church would have missionaries come in and speak to us about what they were doing in the mission field.  I always loved to hear what great things they were doing in far away countries.  To see the faces of the people they were reaching for the Lord was so very touching and motivating at the same time.  I always thought, would God call me?

Fast forward to when I was in the Navy stationed Spain, I began to see first hand what missionaries did for the Lord. Our pastor, Chris Parker was a missionary to the military in Spain and the work he and his family did greatly touched my heart.  We began to reach out on occasion to the local Spanish community.  On one particular occasion we filled backpacks with Spanish tracts and Spanish New Testaments and went to a local carnival to hand them out.  That night we gave out about 1000 tracts and at least 250 New Testaments.  At that point in my life I wondered if God was calling me in some way to be a missionary someplace, or to do missionary work somehow.  But the opportunity never materialized.

Then I met my husband.  He was NOT a missionary.  He was NOT a pastor.  And for what it's worth, that's not what I ever thought God had in store for me.  I never thought I would be a missionary or pastors wife so no surprise here.  My Jon, he's a regular guy with a regular job who has a severe love of all things fishing!!  Now, don't think I don't love him because OH HOW I DO LOVE THAT MAN!!!  God put us together and I am so very thankful.  God chose Jon to remove me from the Navy and plant me in South Carolina.

In 2001 I moved to South Carolina to begin my life as a wife and Mom.  In my mind I began to question what my mission field was and whether God would use me to do something great. 

In 2011 I began studying the book of Colossians with the Love God Greatly(LGG) ministry.  About two years later, I began to help the French translator with graphics and eventually  I started translating for the Love God Greatly ministry and thought, here we go!  THIS is my mission field.

Well, I don't know how many people our French translations are reaching and quite frankly I don't care if we only reach one, that is enough to make a difference.  I want to reach more but I have limitations and again I began to feel discouraged.  God, what is my mission field?  What is it that YOU want me to do?  I continued to translate but I just didn't know if that's where God wants me.

Last week, Angela Perritt from LGG brought in ladies from around the world to stay at her home and be ministered to, loved on, taught and equipped to reach the ladies of their country. This amazing experience really showed me that we are being equipped to serve our own countries....Except, as the French Translator, I AM NOT IN FRANCE!  Again, HOW DO I REACH MY MISSION FIELD????    WHAT IS MY MISSION FIELD?  I'm just a small town girl, living in a large world and just didn't see how I could reach my mission field.

Then she came.  Sally Clarkson of Whole Heart Ministries along with her beautiful and very wise-for-her-years daughter Joy came to Texas to speak to us and boy did they speak!  The thing that Sally said that spoke to me the most was that our greatest mission field is our families.

WHOA! WHAT???

My greatest mission field is my family?  My children?  God are you kidding me?  You want me to do great things for you right?  You want me to reach the world right?  My family isn't big. We are small.

But no, Acts 1:8b says:

 and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

The first place mentioned is Jerusalem; where they lived. THEN in Judaea and Samaria and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

My home is my Jerusalem. I am responsible first to my family.  I knew this already but I never looked at my family as my mission field.  But think about it.  God gave me a husband to love and cherish (and I do).  Then he gave me a step-daughter as a bonus and I love her so very much.  THEN he blessed my husband and I with a son.  God gave them to me.  He gave these precious people to me for me to love and serve.  He gave me children to teach about Him.  About HIS goodness, HIS mercy, HIS forgiveness, HIS grace.  My first mission field is my family.

Returning from the LGG Intensive, I have a new appreciation for where God has me. I have my mission field.  My Family!  But I am also called to Judaea, Samaria and uttermost part of the earth and I can reach them thru translating. Through serving.  But if I don't take care of my first mission field, then I am not honoring what God gave me FIRST. 

So go, take care of your family.  Disciple your children.  Make sure they know that God loves them.  Make sure they know that they can come to you if they need anything...even if it is a cup of tea and time with Mom and her candle (thank you Sally).  Because when they grow up, they need their Momma, but they also need a friend. They need a friend who understands them, loves them and will listen to them.  And who better than Momma?

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