What’s God’s will here?
What do You want me to do?
My husband and I sat with a friend who’d spent years in Japan as a businessman. (He helped me with Go. Serve. Love’s post, Unreached People Group Focus: Japanese.)
We spoke of the culture of conformity of the Japanese. And my friend related a proverb–loosely translated, “The nail that sticks up gets pounded down.”
I met 16-year-old Juan while leading a pastor’s seminar. He sat on the front row with his dad, one of the pastors, and listened intently while I spoke about generational trends and opportunities for the church to engage younger generations.
At the break, I sat down to chat with him, intrigued by his focus and attention. He shared his story of coming to America as a young boy and helping his dad’s work as a pastor of a bilingual church–a role he was grateful for, steadied by strong relationships. His strong faith was clear.
When talking about living out his faith, however, Juan confessed he doesn’t talk about God on social media or at school: “I would be ostracized and lose all credibility if I did.”
Editor’s note: While you’re overseas, there’s a 100% chance you will at some point be baffled by either the size or (slow) pace of the Great Commission.
You may arrive longing to make a difference, only to become acutely aware that you will likely not be the global worker closing the deal on every tribe, tongue, and nation.
The phone connection sounded a bit like Oliver, one of my closest Ugandan friends, was crushing newspapers on the other end. I held the phone an inch from my ear.
But I didn’t miss what made my hand fly to my chest: “Aisha…she passed. It was just too late. Things were already too bad.”
Near the end of my second short-term missions trip, I–a lowly teenager–was surprised to find that conflict with other global workers was a serious difficulty for those I was staying with.
Now, as the spouse of someone aiding conflict resolution in the field, this surprises me not one iota.
Six months into my family moving to Uganda, finding effective ways to rest still felt like it eluded me.
(If you’re in the rigors of raising your financial support, maybe you’re already here.)