Is It Hard To Be A Missionary?
A hundred years ago, being a missionary looked pretty bleak. You would pack up all your clothes and other belongings into a box, and that box would most likely double as your coffin. You would say goodbye to your family and friends, knowing that you might never see them again. It would take weeks, and sometimes months to travel to your destination, and letters would take just as long to arrive.
A lot has changed since then: transportation, technology, society, but one thing hasn’t changed — the call to preach the gospel.
Nowadays we can fly pretty much anywhere in the world and be there within days. We can Skype or FaceTime, use Facebook, send texts and even make international phone calls. In a lot of ways, becoming a missionary is easier than ever before. We can reach every corner of globe, not only physically, but also through our words, photos and videos online. The potential for sharing the gospel is incredible! However, with new technology, new social norms and new modes of transport, some negatives do come into play.
In spite of all these advances, the world is still full of need. Poverty still exists, families are broken, and mental health issues are at an all-time high. It’s easy to look at all the problems in the world and feel discouraged or overwhelmed. Sometimes, I catch myself thinking “I’m just one person. What can I even do?” But in those moments of weakness, God reminds me that missions is His gift to me. He can do immeasurably more than I ever could, yet He invites me into the work. I’m privileged to be included in the call to missions. It is too big for me, but it’s not too big for the Lord.
So what does it look like to be a missionary in this day and age? I know it differs from country to country, and it can also depend on the organisation. In YWAM, we are motivated by the purpose of knowing God and making Him known. As YWAMers, we are all full-time volunteers and none of us earn any money for our missions work. We actually raise support to cover our expenses such as room and board, groceries, and medical expenses. This is an amazing opportunity to grow in faith as we trust God to provide for our every need.
I love being a missionary. Yes, I miss my family, and yes there are many weeks where I have to stretch my finances to cover unexpected expenses. But the beautiful thing is that I know I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. God has done so many miracles, big and small, in my life, and He’s shown me that this is where He wants me. Every day, I grow in my faith and I learn so much about myself. There are challenges, but the call is so worth it. Serving the Lord, reaching out to the lost, and sharing the Gospel are all worth the sacrifice.
by Fiona Winslade
YWAM Gold Coast Media Staff