I will be honest that there are times when I react the same way as Gideon and Moses and ask God, “Are you sure you picked the right person for this job?” There are so many ways that I don’t fit the mold of a “good missionary”. There are so many weaknesses that I have. Just yesterday I flushed the toilet here in Thailand and a huge spider ran out. I screamed! And then I thought this is ridiculous, I live in Africa I should not be screaming at bugs. Yet I think I might always still scream. God are you sure you sent the right person?
- I am not adventurous and yet this past year has been jam packed with many adventures
- I am not organized and yet I live in a house where we have to keep track of clean water, soap water, dirty water and what buckets are used for what type of water.
- I am terrible at goodbyes and weep every time I have to say goodbye even though I have done it so many times.
- I have a terrible sense of direction and I live where there are no street signs and no order.
- I would never choose to try new foods and yet this year I have had so many different foods that I didn’t even recognize.
- I hate disagreements and yet I live in a place where I have to barter for most of what I buy.
- I like being “in the know” and yet I live in a culture where I know and understand very little.
- I like to have a plan and yet I live in a place where they never plan.
- I would much rather talk than write and yet I am at a place where writing is the only means I have of communicating with people back home.
This week I have gotten a chance to reflect on all that we have been through this year. We have been through a lot of hard things and have made incredible progress in our adjustment to life in Africa. Did God send the right person? Yes because I am here to testify that what has happened has been through his strength and his strength alone. I don’t fit the mold, but he is molding me into what he wants me to be. So let me encourage anyone if you see a mountain in your future that you are too weak to climb, God is faithful and can give you the strength you lack to climb your mountain.
The boys back home are doing great. It is not easy, but God is carrying them through. Just as I left they got 3 new packages with new books, candy, crafts, and toys. So many blessings that they are enjoying and at just the perfect time. We are so grateful for all the love and support that surrounds us. Thailand has been great. I am learning so much! The internet here is terrible so you will have to wait to hear and see more of my trip.
Ryan Fast says
To true Andi. As a fellow missionary I am constantly reminded that it’s not about me and all about Jesus. I’ve found a good litmus test is asking myself how am I responding to the bugs, the heat, the attitudes, or just the people. When the flesh is manifest you can bank on the fact that I’m craving comfort, seeking self, or reacting in anger or with an extreme lack of patience. However, when the sufferings come and I can truly turn all the glory to God, I am amazed at how the transfigured Jesus is manifest and I can truly worship at His feet. He ceases to be my personal therapist and instead becomes my transforming Lord! Phil. 2:4-5.
Leanne Duke says
“Though the night be dark and dreary,
Darkness cannot hide from thee;
Thou art he, who, never weary,
Watchest where thy people be.
Blessèd Spirit, brooding o’er us,
Chase the darkness of our night,
Till the perfect day before us
Breaks in everlasting light.”
(Savior, Breathe an Evening Blessing/Edmeston 1820,Bickersteth 1876)
It rarely falls to the lot of any hymn to be sung under such trying circumstances as was this, during the Boxer outbreak in China, by a company of beleaguered missionaries who had gathered together one night in great fear lest they should have to suffer the fate of so many who were giving up their lives rather than deny their Lord. The following account of the singing is furnished by Miss Helen Knox Strain, one of the missionaries present that night.
“The Woman’s Union Missionary Society has a magnificent work just outside of the city of Shanghai. No harm had come to us up to this time, but serious threats and unpleasant rumors were rife; we dared not so much as put our heads out at night, though forty little soldier-men played at keeping us safe. Our missionaries have two centers at that place, and the they meet often for prayer and consultation. At this particular time the rumors were so frightful, and the threats to burn our homes that very night so distressing, that we had a memorable meeting. Separated from home and friends, facing death in a far-off land, and full of tenderest feeling, we lifted our hearts in song…
“Out of the storm each soul, renewing its strength, mounted up with wings as eagles and found peace in the secret of His presence.
“Our Saviour breathed, in very deed, an ‘evening blessing’ upon us, the fragrance of which remains even unto this day. The last verse of the hymn, ‘Should swift death this night o’ertake us,’ was omitted. It seemed too probable it might. We wanted only to think of the safe-keeping, and such, thank God, it proved to be.”
Carolyn Powell says
Thanks, Andi, for sharing your walk with us. You’re the “right stuff” exactly. The more a person gives up for Jesus the greater will be his reward. Praise God for His power and strength which covers our frailties.
His mercies are new every morning. (I scream at spiders, too.)
Erin Fast says
Andi- thanks for sharing that this it was such an encouragement for me this morning!
Barb. Griffin says
Oh how I can relate with “Are you sure God?” Yet it’s wonderful when we see his hand work through us and for us in our circumstances. You may be a missionary to Aftica but your also an example to us at home of how God uses ordinary, illequiped people to perform him work. Showing us your weeknesses yet God’s strength to carry you through. Thank you for being willing to follow God.