Some time this week I am planning on talking a bit on the culture and the things around Thailand that have really been on my heart (along with some pictures), but today I wanted to share some things that have been on my heart in regard to long term missions.
From when I was very young I envisioned myself going out and being a missionary - telling people about Jesus! But then it was more of an idealized concept of what I thought would bring me the most "glory." Of course I didn't think about like that then, but I remember that time, when all I could think on was how I could please people the most. I was a christian because that was what I was brought up to believe, but I hadn't yet had a heart transformation.
When I was 16, and the Lord wonderfully transformed my heart of stone to a heart of flesh, it was a heart that could only beat for Him. I began to realize that the only way I experience true joy was when I worshiped and served Him, and so my desire to go into missions began to really take way. When looking at colleges I wanted one that was mission focused and Houghton was that for me, but the Lord lead me away from that. I didn't fight it, but I did wonder why - just trusting that the Lord has great plans.
Well, there are many stories that have lead me to where I am now (as in Thailand) and ways that the Lord has molded me, and prepared me, and so far I can only marvel as to little lessons that He has been revealing - not so much about the Thai people, but about being a missionary in general. The first being Loneliness.
In 1 Kings 17:3 Elijah is told by the Lord to live in the wilderness, and he stays there for a time before going to Zarephath. This is a time where Elijah is alone, only with the Lord, but it dawned on me how the Lord may call us to be "lonely" for certain times, but never for prolonged times, for we are in need of fellowship "not forsaking the assembling of ourselves..." While on the mission field there may be times that I feel lonely, but I know that the Lord is always with me, I have nothing to fear, and these times are only temporary. I can imagine Paul at times felt lonely while in Prison, but he would use those times to glorify the Father, as he did in any other situation, and I must think as such.
Thinking of missions, I know that when I graduate I will need to be getting some "bible" schooling - and I would like to get my masters at a Christian College. The worry about getting some teaching done starts to creep in, but I know the Lord will lead me to whatever is best. Recently Wheaton, with the Billy Gram Scholarship has seemed very enticing and I need to seriously be praying on whether or not this is where I should be going when I graduate in a year. Furthermore, I've been kinda looking into different mission organizations that I've heard about, specifically Pioneers and To Every Tribe. Lets see where the Lord will bring me!
As a word of prayer, keep these things in mind, but also keep my host family in mind. The father has to leave and check on their business for two weeks, and the family seems very down - pray that they may have the joy of the Lord and not be worried for him. Thank you.