At the beginning of 2011 a desire was planted in my heart to use my photography skills in Missions to tell the stories of God's work among the Nations. This desire has grown a little, taken shape a little, and maybe born a very tiny bit of fruit. But! here I am a few more mission trips and a year later and I am still at home! Now some of you may be laughing at me (and I laugh at myself), I want to go somewhere. "You just got back from Japan!" (You say). Yes, that was an awesome trip (I've been praying about going back) I got to see God working in wonderful ways, but I went as a carpenter (a very poor carpenter at that) and though I did take thousands of pictures that was not what I was there for.
At this point I do feel the need for training, both spiritually and in skills needed, for the mission field. I think hands on training would be best. I've been reading about Cam Townsend the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators. He seems to have just gone out and started spreading the Bible, and then when he saw the need for translation he started the work. (It is an awesome story by the way!) But then most missions agencies recommend having a degree in something or 'nother. Sometimes the light seems to be both Red, Green, and Yellow all at the same time. I think sometimes I am woefully unprepared for the mission field. I don't know another language, I am not in a financial position to support myself, I don't read the Bible enough, I don't pray enough, I am unskilled in presenting the gospel, but then I read about people who just go and the Lord uses them in great ways. And then there is everything in between, all the choices.
Please pray for me as I look at the choices for 2012 (as I see them. There are always things we think we can choose and then the Lord takes that option out). Some of these are not so much choices as they are questions that the Lord will have to help me answer.
- Should I seek to keep going on short term mission trips? (this is going to happen I think)
- Should I try to learn another language? Yes? On my own or through classes ( like Rio Grande Bilble Institute)?
- Should I seek to do an internship with a missions organization? Which one?
- Should I seek Bible College training?
- Should I go back to Japan to work for Samaritan's Purse?
- Should I begin missions work in some other capacity hoping to work my way into the field I want to serve in (Photography, Story telling)
- Should I go to the christian photojournalism conference in Texas? www.swpjc.org
- Should I seek to become employed by one of these missions agencies? Or should I seek to be funded by supporters?
Hmm... all these begin with "Should I". Is that wrong?Well one thing that I think will help is to just look at what God has put in front of me at the moment. Right now I think this is to continue working for my family, take the steps that God gives me the wisdom to take, and seek to draw closer to him.
This afternoon I have a phone conversation scheduled with one of the volunteer organizers of JAARS. The supporting organization of Wycliffe Bible Translators. Please pray that I will get good knowledge and information from this conversation, and that God will open and close doors as only he can.
Last night I also got an email for John Corley (Steppin' Out Mission) who was the leader of our team in Japan. He says they are praying about returning to Japan with another team to continue on the Tsunami relief there.
I am planing to go to Texas on a short trip starting Jan 11th. with Aaron Sutton and the Psalm 67 Network. Please pray for this that it will be a very fruitful trip, and that God will open doors of ministry there.
There are very many opportunities to go and work. All kinds of work. But I think I am searching for the calling, the work, that I can commit my life to. I've already committed my life to God. What work does he have for my life? I kind of feel what it might be, or maybe have a feeling for what the work might feel like (lol). So I am searching for the steps needed, and the right work to be done that might lead to what I have in my heart to do. Does that make sense? Is that right?
So guess what! I know people from every continent of the World! Well... actually almost. As soon as the Orozco family and the Pfleegors leave for South America (Paraguay and Suriname respectively) I will know not only people, but missionaries from every continent. Wouldn't it be awesome to know missionaries from every country? I have a big poster map in my room now that I am going to use to start keeping track of all the missionaries I know of around the world. This is also to help me remember to pray for them. (I still have a lot of missionaries to mark on the map)
All my brothers and sisters in Christ. Find someway to remind yourself of the missionaries you know. Seek to find ways to encourage and support them. Now being Christmas time is a great time to go above and beyond in your support of missionaries. AND while giving to missions ageinces and offerings if good and needful, personal support and contact with your missionaries can be the most rewarding. Our brothers and sisters around the world should hear and see and know that they are not alone but are part of the body of Christ. And we their brothers and sisters are standing by them.
You know, if you are a missionary reading this could you please (PLEASE) leave a comment about how the support group of missions (us at home) can best support and encourage the missionaries we know? I think one of the ways is to build relationships, but how else? I do not think that I am naturally a very encouraging person so I need help with this.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! Go find a way to make Christ (the reason for Christmas) known to those around you!