My Story: Lord, could I go where laundry is easy?

Reading Time: 3 minutes


During the month of August, Go. Serve. Love is stoked to share stories from All Nations, a global training and sending agency.

All Nation’s vision is to see Jesus worshiped by all the peoples of the earth.  Their mission? To make disciples and train leaders to ignite church planting movements among the neglected peoples of the earth.

All Nations International serves 4 training and sending hubs:  Kansas City, Missouri; CapeTown, South Africa; Kampala, Uganda, and Hamburg, Germany.

They would love to see people of every ethnicity trained and mobilized from their region of the world to be goers and senders of the Gospel.

Read more here about All Nations in our Meet an Agency series. Today, we’re sharing Shawna’s story. 


It’s Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. I wake up, mental to-do list scrolling Today is laundry day.

We’ve recently moved into our third apartment since being in the country for a couple of months. And there is yet another new laundry system to learn. This morning is my time slot on the shared laundry room schedule.

Realization dawns along with the light in my window: I’m out of laundry detergent.

The plan for the day has been derailed. I may or may not be thinking un-missionary-like thoughts about this.

The new plan will involve getting my 2 children under 3 ready and strapped in the stroller at an opportune moment between nap times and mealtimes. I will shovel us into the elevator for the a mile round trip to the store.

I deliberately choose the store where I’ve bought detergent before so I don’t have to search the brands, translate labels and convert the price. We enter our building in a convoluted route through approximately 12 doors in order to avoid shoving the children-and-grocery-laden stroller up a steep ramp. I schedule a new laundry time.


The laundry sign-up system.

Making Progress?

Now we’re back to where we started when I woke up.

I start to think that I never ran out of detergent back home in Iowa, where required steps involved opening my laptop and clicking. I was always ready to do the laundry.

Amidst my mental lament, I realized life in the States wasn’t easier. It was familiar. Now it’s just different. (Don’t miss the post, Just Different? Right, Wrong, and Flexibility in Crossing Cultures.)

We are finding ourselves at ground zero with so many of the daily, basic routines. Adjusting to a new culture requires building a whole new system.

It’s going to take time.


My head knows this. Yet I’m still exhausted at the end of the day. And I have nothing to show for it.

Then I’m exhausted and discouraged.

“How’s Ministry Going?”

The discouragement is compounded when we receive emails or texts from friends and family saying, “How is ministry going?”

I know they mean well. They really do.

What would they think if I told them that most days I’m exhausted and discouraged?

A week has passed. Tonight the clothes are clean, folded and put away in drawers and closets. I am answering emails. “Dear friend, thank you for asking. Ministry is going well.”

Like this? You might like our post,
My Story: The 90% You’d Rather Not Hear About.”

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