Calvary School of Missions 2020 — Week 3
It’s Rachel again! I have been so excited to sit down each week and communicate to you what the Lord has been doing at the School of Missions! I am so thankful for your fellowship in the gospel, praying for you and your families, and thanking God for your partnership that made coming here possible. Every day the Lord is faithful to remind me that He has me here for a specific purpose– thank you for playing a part in that!
This week we focused on the importance of culture and discipleship– and these things are more closely related than I initially expected. Discipleship is wholly based on developing relationships. When a missionary goes to a foreign nation to make disciples of Jesus, he or she must become acclimated to the culture in order to be effective. This is so that the missionary can build effective relationships with the nationals, or natives. As we read in Ministering Cross-Culturally, this is a huge exercise of humility. A missionary must enter a country and learn the language, social cues, and ways of life– everything from the beginning, like a child.
“The keys for successful personal relationships in ministry are obedience to the commands of Scripture and accepting that others have a viewpoint that is as worthy of consideration as our own.”Sherwood G. Lingenfelter, Ministering Cross-Culturally
Missions is almost never what we expect, especially in the beginning. We may go into a foreign country with all these lofty ideals of what God’s going to do, just to find out that we have to spend 1-2 years simply learning the language and culture. And a lot of this culture may be the opposite of our own culture, which can cause frustration and confusion. But, when we face these challenges, we need to look at our greatest Example. Jesus, God Almighty, left His throne to become like one of us. He was totally immersed in the Jewish culture for 30 years before He began His official ministry. We see time and time again how He leveraged the culture to make relationships with the people and reach them with the gospel. What humility! He set aside His “rights” as God, set aside His glory to become the adopted Son of a poor carpenter, all to reach humanity in a very personal way. What does this say about us when we gear up to go to another nation? It requires us to put down parts of our culture (as much of it as we can), and take up as much of the other culture that is required to forge relationships.
This teaching was so timely for us because Saturday’s outreach in San Vicente was nothing like we expected. We were expecting for this outreach to be similar to the others, where some of us would share a few testimonies while others would work with the youth and the kids. We had a skit for the kids, crafts, and more planned… a two-hour drive later we had to throw all our plans out the window! The need in this particular church fellowship was manual labor on a property they were preparing for a women’s halfway house ministry. So we took up shovels, pickaxes, and post-hole diggers and got to work!
As we idealize missions, it is easy for us to get caught up in the outreach, and programs, and ministry tasks. But sometimes, what the community needs is for you to come alongside them and break rocks with them! What greater way to serve and create relationships than to meet the people where they are at? As we were chipping rocks away from the mountain and piling them up by the fence, it was like the Lord was using the rocks to speak to my heart… It’s not about the plans. It’s about the people.
Is it worth it to lay down some of our cultural comforts and operations in order to be a vessel for the love of God to reach His children? Is He worth giving up our plans, and taking up the task of learning in order to reach or encourage His people? Is He worth it? I would certainly say so, and pray that He would help me to make my life look like I believe it.
Thank you again to those who have been supporting me in your prayers and financially! It means so much that you have decided to be a part of what God is doing in Rosarito and in my life! Prayer requests are below if you would like to pray for our team, and if you would like to partner with me financially, you can click the link below. The Lord has been teaching me so much, and speaking to my heart about serving as a long-term missionary– I can’t wait to continue pressing in!
- The Lord has blessed us with amazing teachers and leaders!
- We are already such a tight-knit family!
- We made it to and from San Vicente safely.
- The Lord is keeping us safe and teaching us flexibility as plans change due to pandemic precautions and other factors.
- That the Lord would strengthen us all (students and staff) as we pass the halfway mark, and that we would not grow weary.
- That the Lord would continue binding us together in unity.
- That the Lord would give each of us a heart and a vision for a specific people group or nation.