Thursday, August 17, 2006

Missionary work, no cookie-cutters here!

So, what does a missionary do? I am so glad you asked! Well, there is really not just one way to answer that. There are medical missionaries and teacher missionaries. We are church-planting missionaries, that is my husband is a church planting missionary. What have we done? We have started a church. Yep, only one so far. But, you say, I've heard that there are missionaries that have started dozens of Churches, why have you only started one? Well, there are several reasons for that.

1.Not all fields are the same. Some fields are "ripe unto harvest" and others are harder. Do you remember reading in the Little House books when they were on the prairie, breaking the sod? And they were pleased with the crop, considering that it had been planted on newly broken sod.
That's where we are, in the sod-breaking fields. No easy converts here. No one we meet is ready to respond to the gospel. It takes time and patience. And then, once they are saved, they have a messed-up life to try to sort out.

2. A newly-formed church needs a pastor before a missionary can move on. But where do you get a pastor? If you live in the US, you call up some Bible college or find some pastor that's tired of being where he his. You have him "candidate" at your church and you "hire" him. Here, our goal is to win men, train them, then let God raise up from among our own one to shepherd the flock here. This takes a great deal of time.

3. Every one in our church was saved here, we have no believers form other church who arrive here, mature in the Lord. Nope, everybody here was born again right here. Every one starts out at the beginning. Some fall by the wayside. Some are so bogged down with the cares of life. It takes time.

Well, that's what the Preacher does. I help him with anything he wants me to help him with. I keep our home, and teach our children. I teach the ladies the things that he cannot teach them. I chaperone the girls.

Of course every missionary family is a little different.
This is us.



e-Mom said...

It sounds so rewarding. Thanks for the nice summary of the missionary work you do together.

Mrs.B. said...

I enjoyed reading this. Sounds like you're being a great 'helper' to your husband!

Susan said...

Thanks for the glimpse into your life! My in-laws have been missionaries in Jamaica for almost 22 years. They are church planters also. They are currently in the third church in that 22 years. When they come home for furlough next spring, they hope to leave the church with a national pastor. Jamaica is slow, hard work too, because they are a religious people and will follow after any and everything out there. To get them to truly repent of their sins and believe ONLY on Jesus Christ for salvation is not an easy thing to do.

Keep working and being your husband's help meet!

Anne said...

You know, that is so true that each field is different. There are some fields that *seem* to be more ripe than others, but at the end of the day, the question is were you *faithful* in talking to others about the Lord? Isn't it good to know that we can't ever save a person (as much as we desire to see them saved) but we can earnestly pray for their salvation? Good post and also a good reminder for me to pray for the Castners and Heinzes! Little things pop up each day to serve as reminders of dear missionaries on fields far away... thank you!