Jesus in the Ordinary
What does a missionary do? There are of course a ton of possible answers to that question. One might say evangelize, preach, teach, provide humanitarian assistance, translate, and a myriad of other things. Missionaries often do a combination of all those things.
Yet, there are some parts of being a missionary that we don’t normally think about. I recently returned from a 6-week trip to Mexico where I lived and served with a missionary family. I took this trip as an opportunity to gain practical ministry experience to help prepare me for my future long-term missionary service in Ukraine.
During my time there, I was involved in a variety of things related to missionary life. The majority of my time was spent doing day-to-day tasks like cooking, cleaning, work projects, printing, cutting, and other things like that. These are some things we don’t often think of as part of missionary life, but it is all part of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into ministry. In order to do some of the bigger ministry events, there are more ordinary tasks to do in preparation.
When we work as if unto the Lord in everything we do, even mundane tasks such as sweeping a floor or printing coloring pages become ways the Lord uses us to further His kingdom.
In addition to experiencing the ordinary, everyday side of missionary life, I also had plenty of opportunities to experience the parts of ministry that people expect of missionaries. On one of these occasions, I worked as a translator for a medical brigade. It was a three-day outreach event.
One of the mornings I prayed very specifically that God would give me an opportunity to share the gospel since this was an evangelistic-focused event. Later that day, I took a break from translating with the dentists, and I decided to walk around and observe the eye care and wheelchair areas. As I was walking, I noticed a young boy sitting alone in the wheelchair area as he waited for his sister to get fitted for a chair. He had a gospel picture cube in his hands and was looking at it.
I sat next to him and started talking and asked him to explain the gospel to me using the cube. As I listened, I learned more about him and what he already knew about the gospel and then I had the opportunity to instruct him in the parts he didn’t understand. I was eventually pulled away to continue translating, but I left the conversation rejoicing that God had answered my prayer that morning and that I was given the opportunity to share the gospel with this boy.
I realized that since I had prayed that very specific prayer in the morning, I passed through the day looking for opportunities to share the gospel. I was expecting the prayer to be answered and I was looking to see how. So, since I had asked God for an opportunity to share the gospel, I was looking for an opportunity to share the gospel. It showed me that when I pray specifically and am truly expectant for God to answer my prayer, I can see opportunities I may not have seen before.
How can you pray specifically and wait expectantly for the Lord to answer today?
Rachel Anderson is in the midst of preparation for long-term missionary service in Ukraine with Kontaktmission. This preparation involves online theological education, Kontaktmission trainings, and support raising. Rachel will leave for the field when she is fully funded and have completed the necessary trainings. Currently, she has about 35% of my monthly support needs met. Please join us in prayer that God would provide the funding that is needed and that He would continue to prepare her in every way for the ministry He has called her to. We ask you to consider partnering with her financially as she joins God in the work He is doing in Ukraine.
If you would like to support Rachel financially, go to www.gokmusa.org/anderson/ and select “give” in the upper right-hand corner.