I just wrote an interview for a friend of mine. The interview was a missions questionnaire. I wanted to share it with you here.
I was wondering if you could tell me a little about what you’ve experienced while on a mission trip.
Mostly, what kind of responsibilities, challenges and victories did you experience. Also, if you have any prayer requests for any upcoming trips, what are they?
My first mission trip outside the country was to British Guyana, South America. I was 19 years old and it was the summer after my freshman year of college. It was a neat experience to see a culture far different than my own. God used it to create a passion in my for people who are not like I am, to minister the Gospel of Christ to them. After that trip, I was invited the next summer to travel to the Eastern European country of Moldova to serve at an English language Bible study camp. While there, I was greatly challenged because of the conditions and also by the way God moved in a mighty way. I was there for 14 days and while there, I heard and answered God’s call to the foreign mission field. Upon moving to Moldova in 2004, I was faced with learning a new language and culture. God gave me the ability to pick up the language quickly and integrate into society as a local. I felt at home for the first time since becoming a born again Christian in 1999. God molded my heart and my character while on the mission field. I had to learn to depend on Him completely. It was hard being away from family but I experienced the promise that Jesus made to His disciples, “28 Peter began to say to Him, “Behold, we have left everything and followed You.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10) Now that I am back in the States, I still have a passion for national and international missions. I have a burden for the lost, especially for people who come from a different culture. When I see people who are foreign to the USA, I try to make them feel welcome because I know what it is like to be a stranger in a strange land. I know what it means for a local to be nice to you with no strings attached. It opens the door for the Gospel many, many times.
To me, the neatest part about being a missionary is to see when a person understands the Gospel for the first time and accepts It, knowing that God is going to transform their lives in a radical way and that they will most likely experience some sort of persecution from their family and friends because of choosing to follow Christ. While on the foreign mission field, I used my knowledge of the English language to teach people English as a second language as we learned to study the Bible together. I was also a youth pastor, training teens and young adults in how to study the Bible and serve according to what they were learning. I helped equip them to make disciples using English and other ministry tools. One of the most successful ministries that I was a part of was organizing and leading days camps for kids in the villages of Moldova. Each week during the summer, we would organize at least 2 different day camps in different villages, taking a team of local Moldovans who had been trained and helping them minister to the kids. Each camp could have anywhere from 50 to 150 kids depending on the size of the village. There was always opposition from the local Orthodox priests but God even used that opposition for His glory, to open more doors to share the Gospel. The neatest victory that I ever witnessed is when we ministered to a family in a village, a poor family where the father was blind because of diabetes and the mother sold fish at the market place to try and feed the family. In 2001, the oldest daughter came to our English camp and accepted Christ. In 2003, she brought her younger sister who also accepted Christ. They were both heavily persecuted by their parents and the local village priest. My wife and I began to teach a study in their home in 2005 and the parents came to Christ. I gave the father some audio sermons to listen to while he was at home so that he could grow in his faith. He began inviting the choir members of the Orthodox church to him home for some fellowship. While they were talking, he would play one of the sermons and then ask the person, “so, what are you going to do about what you just learned?”. He even had the priest over and did the same to him. He became a great testimony for the Lord until his death a couple of years ago. This entire family was transformed by God because of one camp all the way back in 2001.
Please pray for Moldova. The ministry continues even though we are no longer present on the mission field. We just had a team from Maryland visit last week and minister to and with our church, “Good News Church”. They led some day camps in some of the villages where we have worked in the past. There is a new team there this week, a team from Wisconsin. They will be ministering to girls who have been caught up in human trafficking, enslaved to wicked people as prostitutes. They have been set free but need much healing to take place. Pray for them, that they will understand the Gospel, accept It, and be trained to help fight against this terrible sin by preaching the Gospel to as many vulnerable young girls as possible.
I hope that this interview was helpful, giving a glimpse of what it is like to be a missionary on the foreign mission field.