Some friends of ours are leaving in a few weeks for the mission field. Robin wrote this for them and I thought it was good advice for anyone interested in being a missionary.
I am so glad that you are obeying God and taking this challenge. We are praying for you and your children! I was thinking about what I wished other people would have told me before I left for the mission field and what advice I did receive that has helped over the years.
The first part of the journey is all so quick and exciting that even the frustrating parts are fun. It’s amazing to watch the children learn and adapt to their new environment. Learn from them. They are watching you to see if this new place is okay. As I read about others’ experiences on the field, I am so convinced that the difference between a bad and good experience for the children is the attitude of the parents.
I think one of my biggest challenges is to keep positive about the cultural differences that bug me. Patsy Cameneti once told me that if we continually talk about all the things that we don’t like about the mission field it frustrates the grace of God on our lives.
I am so proud to be an American. There are so many freedoms that you will give up to serve in another country. Many Europeans that I have met long to live in America. Even if they don’t really understand the politics …they understand that America equates with freedom. Because of that, many will be excited to get to know you. They want to know more about you and God will use this as an opportunity to lead them to Him. On the other hand, some people will not like you just because you are an outsider. Their long time prejudices will come out in strange and hurtful ways. This is an even greater chance to show the love of God. Your neighbors will be watching you. (When we meet people in our village, they usually tell us all about our family.)