Asia, Missions, Travel

I Can’t Do This.

I have the best friends. I mean, I always think it is kinda dumb when people say that. Of course everyone would think their friends were great. If they didn’t think that, then they wouldn’t be friends with them. Right? But, still, I do have really great friends.

One of my friends decided to do something really thoughtful for me and wrote encouraging messages to be read at any time on this trip when I was feeling in need of a pep talk. How nice is that?

[Side note: Personally, I think encouraging other believers is one of the most under-utilized practices in the church. Or maybe I just rely on encouragement from others more than anyone else. But, I really do think we need to practice this more. If you feel led to say something uplifting to another believer, do not miss that opportunity. Write a note, say it, send a text, whatever you have to do. But, be encouraging, lift each other up! How strong would the church be if each of it’s members felt the support and encouragement of other members? A kind word or note from other believers has helped me hold on to the end of my rope more times than I can count.]

I’m gonna be real for a minute: the mission field in Laos is rough. And, it was especially so for me on this particular trip. I want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but I never read anywhere about Him sitting in a bunch of business meetings. I think administrative duties are just not my calling. It feels really fruitless to me. It feels devoid of anything having to do with the Gospel. I want to be able to share and love the way Jesus did. But instead, I’m stuck at a desk taking notes about hospital procedures. Jesus is never mentioned, lost souls are not won, and my hands are tied.

I woke up on the morning of our second day of meetings and literally my first thought was: “I can’t do this.” Which I knew was a terrible way to start the day. So, I got my Bible and out fell my little envelope of encouraging messages. I figured if these were for times I needed encouragement, this was the occasion. I randomly selected one and this is what it said: Mark 9:23- “What do you mean ‘If I can?’ asked Jesus. Anything is possible if a person believes.”

You know those moments that God speaks right to you? This was one of those. Sitting in meetings may not be my thing. And, I may think this all feels fruitless. But, newsflash: it’s not about me. I’m not in charge and if this is the path that The Lord has chosen, it’s the best way. Laos won’t be won overnight, the Gospel will not be spread there in only one way, and it will be a long road. Those meetings might feel devoid of the Gospel, but those Lao doctors and nurses sitting across from me, taking notes too, need to know Jesus.

Not all mission work is going to be fireworks and revivals. Sometimes it’s going to be note taking and hand shaking. And that’s okay. Jesus can shine through the darkest (or dullest) of circumstances. So, I’ll claim His promise, stand strong in His Truth, and continue to work in whatever way He leads.

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