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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Missionaries of SI

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dvndsn
Member



Joined: 2011/8/3
Posts: 86
Kentucky

 Missionaries of SI

This is for the past/present missionaries of SI members. I have a few questions regarding your ministry:

What do you base your success off of?

What challenges have you faced in the field?

What about your children? How have they adjusted to the lifestyle of being a missionaries child? What about schooling them?

How have you comforted your family from afar if you have been called away from home?

What someone (particularly the world) would call a necessity in life (owning your own home, the American dream, etc.), how are you content to live without those things? My wife and I are called to missions in Africa, and we are already content with never owning our own home, but I would like some other input on how to deal with this in regards to family members and friends.

What organization did you go through? IMB, BMDMI, etc.

Did you experience persecution?

If you like, please tell where you served and how many years you were there. Also, if you feel I left anything out, please feel free to include it in your response.

 2012/2/9 14:01Profile
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 Re: Missionaries of SI


This is a tremendous thread idea and I know there are ex-missionaries on these forums that would love to respond to this once they see it.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/2/9 14:38Profile
dvndsn
Member



Joined: 2011/8/3
Posts: 86
Kentucky

 Re:

Please find them! I am extremely interested in their experiences. I have been on mission trips, and realize I am on mission wherever I go, but to speak with one who has lived a life of foreign missions would be a great opportunity for me.

 2012/2/9 14:39Profile
dvndsn
Member



Joined: 2011/8/3
Posts: 86
Kentucky

 Re: Missionaries of SI

Since I'm not getting much response, I'll widen the qualifications: Can anyone expound on a mission trip they went on?

 2012/2/9 21:16Profile
EverestoSama
Member



Joined: 2010/5/17
Posts: 1175


 Re:

Just to let you know, I'm currently working as a missionary in Japan. I don't have time at the moment to answer all of your questions, but I will try to answer them when time does allow.

 2012/2/9 22:09Profile
dvndsn
Member



Joined: 2011/8/3
Posts: 86
Kentucky

 Re:

Thank you so much! I understand completely!

 2012/2/9 22:19Profile
roadsign
Member



Joined: 2005/5/2
Posts: 3776


 Re:

For what it’s worth, my husband and I are ex-missionaries. We served with Trans World Radio in Bonaire Netherlands Antilles for a term. It is a conservative evangelical parachurch mission.

Quote:
What do you base your success off of?


We were a service mission. My husband headed up the maintenance crew and did some on-air programming. I used my music and nursing background quite a bit. Our success stories came from afar. A lot of fruit happened in remote places in the world – China, Brazil, and so forth. We received encouragement through their letters which were read (translated) at staff meetings. They were amazing stories - how God used the air waves to transform people for his glory. That made it all worth it!

Quote:
What challenges have you faced in the field?


The weather was usually very hot, and we had no air-conditioning in our homes. Scorpions were everywhere, so you never put on a shoe without shaking it first, and you thoroughly checked your sheets before jumping in bed. The biggest psychological challenge was what some viewed as extreme legalism among the missionaries themselves. You couldn’t wear shorts, your shoulders had to be covered by at least 3 inches of fabric (females). Men were not allowed to wear beards. There was also a high turnover rate. Just as you got to know someone well, they’d move on. It was one loss after another. There were also health issues and emotional disturbances – more than I expected. Since those days in the 70’s, there has apparently been remarkable improvement regarding the spiritual and emotional needs. God answered our prayers and sent some discerning, compassionate leaders. God cares!

Part of the culture shock, I think was the difference between Canadian and American way of thinking and expressing. I did not expect it, and sometimes I would be offended because I didn’t understand. In a sense we were foreigners among foreigners on a foreigner field. That was both challenging and adventurous.


Quote:
What about your children? How have they adjusted to the lifestyle of being a missionaries child? What about schooling them?


Our two oldest children were born there, but we did not remain into school years. I probably would have homeschooled. I taught my daughter to read and write her letters at 2yo because she was ready and eager. I taught her a lot of songs too. And she enjoyed us reading books. We lived in an outback kind of area with local people, and they would come over to look at my white babies. We didn’t know each other’s language, but we sure had fun together.

Quote:
What someone (particularly the world) would call a necessity in life (owning your own home, the American dream, etc.), how are you content to live without those things?


This was a big issue - material possessions. We were given a lot of advice for what to bring. Looking back, some of that advice may have been an expression of that American Dream. In hindsight I could have done with far less. At first we used sawhorses and plywood for a table. I think I could have lived with that. But we ordered a table, among a few other things.


Quote:
My wife and I are called to missions in Africa, and we are already content with never owning our own home, but I would like some other input on how to deal with this in regards to family members and friends.


We did not own our home so I cannot comment on this. The mission rented our house. I think you would do well to prepare yourself regarding these temporal needs by reading Hudson Taylor, Gladys Alyward, Amy Carmichael, Bruchko (Bruce Olsen), and those many others who served so sacrificially. Fill your mind with that material. And then whatever you do have will be a blessing!

Here’s another crucial book (I think) for missionaries-to-be: “When Charity destroys Dignity: Overcoming unhealthy dependency in the Christian movement” by Glenn Schwartz. You get it off the Voice of the Martyr site. He addresses a prevailing concern in missions – which doesn’t get talked about much – and is not going to go away anytime soon.

My husband and I were not armed with these missionary stories at the time. We were quite young and naïve. Still, missionary life proved to be a powerful learning experience in itself. After leaving (his choice) I was sad and depressed for some time afterwards. I wanted to stay, and it felt like a big part of my heart was left behind.

Reverse culture shock added to the challenge. Even after being away three years, I was shocked by the decadence – especially in the churches. I could hardly walk in some of the churches – looking like posh hotels… those carpets… lights. And the people were singing away seemingly oblivious to the reality of another existence. It was a lonely and hurting time for me. I have heard that reverse culture shock is often worse than the initial culture shock. I can understand.


I don’t know if any of this is helpful for you. Still, I believe you are wise to hear from others. May God direct wise counselors and godly seasoned missionaries into your life – that you may be well-equipped for the race ahead.

God bless you!


Diane



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Diane

 2012/2/10 9:01Profile
flameoffire
Member



Joined: 2008/1/3
Posts: 189
Michigan

 Re:

I've worked as a missionary (primarily to Bengali and Yemeni Muslim immigrants) for the last year and a half. These are excellent questions.

I judge my success by my relationship with the Lord Jesus, my daily experience and obedience with Him, and my faithfulness to sow in prayer and spread the message of the gospel in a discernible, bold witness.

I am single and I freely admit that this has shielded me from many struggles and sacrifices.

Through KP Yohannan (Road to Reality) and many others I have a different lifestyle ethic than most of the rest of North American Christianity. Keeping a daily understanding that our purpose is to live in the light of eternity and that if we have to answer to the LORD for every idle word, we shall surely answer for every idle dollar spent means a lot to me.

I'm affiliated with a CMA church plant and under their authority and accountability, but not a CMA employee.

I have not yet experienced any physical persecution. The opposition within the body of Christ has been the hardest to deal with as has been the spiritual, mental and emotional onslaught from the enemy.

The ugly conflicts between ideals, ethics and mental, emotional and spiritual health within the body have been the hardest to deal with. Satan is constantly trying to wear you down and cause division. Jesus is destroying his work praise the Lord (1 John 3:8).

You can find out more at my blog and at Acts 29 Fellowship's website.


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Jonathan

 2012/2/10 11:06Profile
Nemo2006
Member



Joined: 2012/2/10
Posts: 3


 Re: Missionaries of SI

My wife and two children live in Matagalpa, Nicaragua. We actually are home in Ohio now by the miracles of God for a short visit. We have lived there for 6 months and one priority we have is working with an organization called "Still Hope". We are currently building an orphanage.
We learned a hard lesson of success in ministry. How can one measure success compared to someone else in the kingdom of God. We went to the field expecting certain accomplishments. This is a great device of the enemy to think it is according to our strength. Then God broke us in a way that brought submission. We now understand that we are not called to succeed but to obey. HE IS ALREADY SUCCESSFULL.

It is sad with the reputations that american christianity have in this world. It was asked by a native if we where planning to hire a servant/maid lady to work in our home. We were ashamed of such a question. We rent a house there with plenty of room that we can keep people, but we cannot picture ever again trying to buy a house. Vehicles also are very expensive and we prayed but felt it was the will of God to not worry about trying to use one. It is a great blessing to not be entangled again with the cares of this life as far as property is concerned. We have so many preachers who are pacing the floor at night because they cannot pay the bills instead of staying up all night because men are lost.

From our family we faced alot of discouragement telling us not to go, but the worst is to see the great need and feel that you are not making an impact. Everyday people coming with more and more needs. Struggling to allow Christ to live thru us is our great concern.

We have a 5 year old son and a 2 year old girl. They love Nicaragua. 5 year old is homeschooled and our girl is also eager to learn. They are picking up the spanish rather quickly by playing with many friends. It is a great blessing to watch your children play and become close to friends from another culture. Coming back to U.S. for a short visit has caused them to be spoiled by grandmas to the point where it will be hard to get them to go back with us.

I hope I have given some kind of insight for you but the most important is Christ and His glory. God will have you thinking and acting radically before you ever leave the country. This is the plan of God to prepare you in the midst of your own people.. It IS Amazing

 2012/2/10 12:15Profile
DEADn
Member



Joined: 2011/1/12
Posts: 1354
Lakeland FL

 Re:

This goes through my mind ALOT when it comes to church.

DO you think the book you mentioned here could also go for people who aren't necessarily missionaries but do street preaching and so forth? The book intrigues me!

Quote:

Reverse culture shock added to the challenge. Even after being away three years, I was shocked by the decadence – especially in the churches. I could hardly walk in some of the churches – looking like posh hotels… those carpets… lights. And the people were singing away seemingly oblivious to the reality of another existence. It was a lonely and hurting time for me. I have heard that reverse culture shock is often worse than the initial culture shock. I can understand.


Here’s another crucial book (I think) for missionaries-to-be: “When Charity destroys Dignity: Overcoming unhealthy dependency in the Christian movement” by Glenn Schwartz. You get it off the Voice of the Martyr site. He addresses a prevailing concern in missions – which doesn’t get talked about much – and is not going to go away anytime soon.

Quote:





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John

 2012/2/12 9:38Profile





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