As of the time in which I write you this update, we are 58 days from getting on a plane and moving our life to Japan. We are 75% funded as far as our recurring monthly needs are concerned, so please pray about partnering with us financially. And to all of you who have gotten behind us, and have helped to encourage and get us to this point, thank you and may the Lord bless you mightily for your commitment and care for us.
Hello, this is Alishia Root, and I am about to become a missionary wife. It has taken roughly 6 years to arrive at the gate of launching out as full-time missionaries. It’s been a time spent learning about culture and learning how to be ministry workers. The days have been full of change, adaptation, and reconstruction as we grow in our understanding of God’s heart for the unreached. The part we as the church are to play, as both goers and senders, in fulfilling the great commission. And most importantly growing in our understanding of His gracious love for us personally.
This is the analogy I use to illustrate and understand the life of a missionary … Remember the first time you wanted to tackle a big roller coaster? There was promise of thrill and some unknowing apprehension, but it seemed fun, so why not? So you get in line, and the line is rather long. You wonder if you will get to the ride head before the day is over ( I equate this to the waiting period of a young missionary), but it is moving so you just settle in and move along inch by inch. At some point the coaster is on top of you, and people are screaming. Then your time comes, you sit down willingly, and you get strapped in (those straps for a missionary are the prayers of the saints). And you start climbing that hill, click…Click…CLICK, up it goes. At this point there are all sorts of feelings and emotions, some excitement, some apprehension. Then you reach the top and whoosh down. You plunge into the places the ride is going to take you (or in this case the Holy Sprit). And then you get off and you realize you kind of want to do it all again.
My idea of what missions is, and what a missionary is tasked with, has grown and the weight of the task ahead has sunk in. Along with the size of the task ahead, my understanding of God’s sovereignty and hand leading has grown as well. I find myself looking back to all the trials and moments of growth that not just the last 6 years, but a lifetime, has prepared me for, all leading up to this moment. I think about the way my dad taught me as a young girl to use chopsticks in a game of picking up peas. Or how the reserved and pragmatic nature of Jeff’s parents, trained him up in a mindset very similar to the Japanese mind. I have thought of the ways the Lord has allowed me to experience a level of culture shock moving from rural Montana with its “Montana time” (if you know, you know) to the fast-paced scheduled out calendar of being an intern at a busy California church.
I have been blessed to love lives of people that serve the Lord all over this planet. I have been blessed with experiences I never expected to have. I have seen not just my husband, but other young missionaries learn to be missionaries, pastors, and ministry workers. There have been friends made. There have been moments that the Lord’s voice has been so sure. There has been fellowship in a depth that amazed me. There has been learning to support others and learning to be a wife that holds up a husband that has expectation on him.
And there has been costs to be paid. For every life I have been given the joy to love, I now place at Jesus’ feet as I will be separated by an ocean. There has been ministry lessons that have broken my heart. And personal trials that have brought me to my knees. But learning to be on your knees is the posture required of every missionary, so I rejoice in the lessons and shaping of Jesus.