“….. I was thinking yesterday morning about what is the hardest thing to endure on the mission field. I went over all the physical hardships and dangers, sacrifices in food and comfort. I meditated on the loneliness and responsibilities that weigh you down. Although none of these are to be cast aside as insignificant, they are none of them any worse than the others to bear. So, what is the hardest thing to take in stride out here in the bush? It’s an age-old trial, a testing as old as Abraham, and a hardship that glorifies God more than any other; it’s walking by faith. It is living day-in and day-out not knowing if you are wasting your time, wondering if you are doing any good. It is the fear that it was only your emotions that called you here, not that still small voice. It is wishing, continually, that you knew the end of the story and could be sure that you really are doing something worthwhile and aren’t’ suffering for no reason at all. It is seeing the admiring looks on the faces of pastors, friends, and fellow missionaries that say “how brave you are, we appreciate your courage and God does too.” And yet, it never occurs to them that God might be planning to do something incredible, work miracles and save souls. They see Him as playing games with me, growing me up, changing me, preparing me to be the paragon Christian example for all the young folks at home. I hope He does change and purify me, I surely need it, but couldn’t He possibly mean business enough to use me while He’s at it? I couldn’t continue here if I thought all God was interested in was growing me up. And yet when nine out of ten people seem to see that as the end of all ministry--- personal growth and spiritual arrival – I get to wondering that maybe God really isn’t going to work any miracles and do marvelous things with me – as well as to me. It is a faithless, self-centered thought, and I’m ashamed to admit that it runs through my mind far to often. God’s love and attention is not limited. He so loved the world --- the whole world. He is not willing that any should perish – not any at all. I know that he will use me as much as He possibly can, as much as I will let Him, to reach as many people as possible in my lifetime. Oh, He’ll grow me up while He’s at it. But that is just a side benefit, an extra blessing that overflows off the top of everything else He’s going to do. God intends to glorify Himself and to make Himself known to as many people on earth as He can, and if I’m willing to help in that mission, you better believe He’s going to use me, and anybody else that puts themselves in His hands.”
I enjoy reading. I have to be more selective about what I read now that I don't have just oodles of time to do it though. But, recently, I went through a stack of books and sermon DVDs that deposited in my life all sorts of little nuggets. One particular book was a Missionary Diary of a young lady who lived in Paupa New Guinea. Her mission was to learn a primitive tribal language and to translate scripture into that language. Her dairy includes her thoughts and techniques on learning a language, her interaction with her American biological brothers, getting to know the tribal people, the tribal food, growing a garden, building her home, and last but not least --- the hikes and bugs. She even had a few entries about the fustration with the weather when it comes to missionary pilots which was awesome for me to read! The book is called “Rebekah’s Diary” by Rebekah Pearl.