There is a lot more to being a missionary than I originally thought, and one of those things most missionaries fail to mention in their speeches at churches is the idea of, "Hurry up and Wait." I too have struggled with how best share with you my supporters what the Road to Rome is like. Do I paint you a pretty picture, do I bore you with details, or do I give you the raw truth. I am opting more and more for the raw version.
Why? Because I feel there are a lot of misunderstandings about missions, and missionaries and I want to have a more open dialogue about the reality of missions. So today we tackle just one aspect of missionary life, that of, Hurry Up and Wait.
This applies more often than not I am finding. When I applied to be a missionary with ReachGlobal it was a 6 month application process, filled with many, many tests and forms in the beginning, then months of waiting, then interviews, then more waiting. Then a plane ride to Minnesota for a week long interview and information session, then an day of waiting for the final decision.
Seeing that this is how things started you would think I would have caught a clue that this was just the beginning.
Then there is Support Raising, which any honest missionary would tell you is a whole lot of hurrying, for appointments, and contacts and phone calls, and an abundance of waiting for returns on those investments. If you have ever worked on a church committee then you can imagine just how much waiting it takes to get a decision from a church on whether or not they can and will support you.
Right now, I am waiting for the remaining 49% of my support to come in. I would be lying if I told you this waiting was easy. That is not to say I cannot see God at work even in the waiting. I have indeed seen him at work in the waiting, and I know He is using this time to prepare me for more, Hurry Up and Wait. As that is culture in Italy, and many parts of the the world.
I am also waiting for word on when I will be heading to Haiti, right now this is the hardest wait, because I can see reminders everywhere of the vast need, and I long to be there working, serving and growing in my relationship with God. But again I hurried to get ready to go and now I wait.
As I touched on waiting is not horrible, it is part of the process, part of being a missionary, perhaps part of being used by God. As I wait I am not only waiting on people but I am waiting on God. That is a good but not always easy place to be.
How can you help me in all of this waiting? So glad you asked.
1. Pray for me. That I will continue to wait on God and His will and timing rather than own.
2. Join me in fasting tomorrow for the people of Haiti. Perhaps as we wait together at the feet of Jesus on behalf of the people of Haiti we will in fact be just where He wants us to be.
3. If you have a church that I can come and share at please invite me to do so. If you work at a church I would strongly encourage you to take some time, to look at your missions policy and missionaries and see if there are ways you could help speed along some of the waiting. There is room for improvement on both sides.
Thanks for joining me on this journey for encouraging me along the way, and for your many prayers, it really does help especially in the times of waiting.
Lessons learned during the wait:
God is Faithful
I cannot do this alone
My timing and God's timing are not the same and His is best.
Waiting gives you time to wait on the Lord, use that time wisely.
If I was in Rome already we would have missed out on being in Haiti.
My waiting is nothing in comparison to those waiting for Food, Justice, and Shelter, Hope and Peace.
There is time now to rest, there might not be soon.
What can I be doing for God and with God here and now?
I need to be ready when the time comes
Just to name a few.