"Obedience to the call of Christ nearly always costs everything to two people- the one who is called, and the one who loves that one." ~ Oswald Chambers
Dani, who blogs here, is counting down the weeks before she leaves on her mission trip with the Logos ship. The ship travels the world with the idea of bringing "knowledge, hope & help to the people of the world". Each year sees about 1 000 000 visitors board the ship. I know she is excited & it has been interesting watching how the Lord has dealt with her in preparation for this trip.
Meanwhile Liddy is being prepared differently because hers will not be a short term mission. It is fascinating what the Lord is serving up in preparation ~ things that one might never have considered as necessary training but which the Lord considers paramount.
Odd as it might seem, or perhaps not if you know me well, I haven't known too many missionaries. I wasn't all that thrilled by visiting missionaries. The starving African hordes , the millions of Chinese ~ in fact all the unreached peoples of the world ~ would still be starving & unreached if it was left up to me. I have enough trouble muddling about in my own little word but even so I never felt any burning desire to outreach anywhere. [Where I soap box is with the church itself because, man oh man, how is the church ever going to do half the stuff Christ commanded if the teachers don't teach?! Yeah...] I didn't tell my kids missionary stories. I didn't tell about those martyred for the faith either. What I did tell them was that as the children of a western nation they never ever had the right to whinge & complain that they were poor & hard done by. Never. [Didn't stop them but that's what they got told.]
Missions weren't big in this house. We didn't have one of those dinky little money boxes to put the spare change in for mission fields. We didn't pray particularly for missionaries on the field or that God would raise up workers. My library doesn't include any of the wonderful missionary biographies ~ though we do own a copy of Ingrid Bergman & The Inn of the 6th Happiness. I never subscribed to any of the many missionary publications. Dani's home was even less missionary oriented. Yet here is where God has chosen to raise up workers.
One missionary is pretty extraordinary, given the circumstances. Liddy has known from the time she was about 10 that she was called to the mission field. Consequentially I have known that also. We have had a long time to adjust to that knowledge. Sometimes the journey has been excruciating as Christ attempts to mold the piece of stubborn granite I gave birth to into a tool fit for His purposes. Sometimes it has been heartbreaking because the Lord has to break us before He can use us. Sometimes we get the Wheee effect as the impossible becomes our reality. One can never complain that the journey has been dull.
In the natural course of events I've met more missionaries in the last 12 months than I've ever known previously. They are a different breed. Their sights are firmly on the Kingdom. I have also learnt some things that quite frankly appall me. I've seen this statistic diced any number of ways but what it boils down too is that there are more young, single women on the mission field than there are men ~ of any age or marital status! Worse, the more dangerous the country the higher the numbers of women, the fewer the men! I'm sorry; that one just boggles my mind.
Why is that? I can think of lots of reasons. Parents want their sons established in a career to support a family. Men are more likely to be married & either be loath to take their families on the mission field or have wives who are opposed to going. Men are less likely to be religious ~ from an Aussie point of view. Anyone actually count the ratio of men to women recently? Parents are opposed to their children becoming missionaries....And what stands out to me is how few actually ask God what He wants. Do I want my Liddy on the mission field in a different country? Of course not! I'll rarely see her & things like grandkids become a " probably not". But it's not about me. I asked God. I actually did. I know He wants my Liddy so Liddy will go. Eventually. In God's own good timing. I have 5 kids; surely I can spare one for God's work?
Only it's not just one. God has His hand firmly clamped on Dino's shoulder too. Dino is talking Africa. Not any time soon but Africa. Where Dino goes Theo usually follows. Even stranger I have a feeling Star will end up with Liddy ~ again not any time soon. The hardest lesson to learn is that our children are indeed not our own. They belong to God first & are lent to us for only a little season. All our expectations of who they are, what they will be & how their lives will go are subject to a higher authority. Watching them step out from under the shelter of our spiritual covering & shoulder their own spiritual mantle has been one of the hardest things I've ever had to do but it is absolutely imperative that our children learn to hear God for themselves, learn to discern His will for their lives, learn to obey first & argue later.
So as Star & I submerge into the nether regions of The Gothic I have other things happening on the back burner: Liddy comes off the farm to study & look for part~time work while waiting on the ok for Chile; Dino heads off to Dubbo for the wheat while praying for discernment for direction; & Theo arrives home for a short break that will prompt who knows what! I need to remember: “God had only one Son and He made Him a missionary.”-David Livingstone