Go. Serve. Love is psyched about featuring this post from missionary Joe Holman; it originally posted on his blog and is gratefully used with permission.
Fun fact about Joe: He and his wife totally pull off the missionary thing amidst a family of 13. They’ve served in Bolivia since 2007.
First, the Disclaimers.
I’m going out on a limb here, so I’ll put some disclaimers up in advance.
1. I love being a missionary.
This post points out bad aspects you’ll not hear us normally say. It doesn’t mean I’m unhappy or unfulfilled.
2. I’m speaking of feelings and perceptions.
I know what the Bible says and can give a counterpoint to each of these. For example, when I share how we feel about shortchanging my children, I know that there are 100 positive things that people can point out to me.read more
Let’s be honest. Support-raising propels you to still cultivate relationships with that friend from high school; that relative you usually only see once a year; that couple you’ve talked with only a few times at church, but you know they love the country you’re going to.
At times, this may feel false to you: I wouldn’t be pursuing this if there wasn’t money involved.
But you realize this is about more than money–and that the mission is greater than your discomfort. You also realize you’ve gotta persist in asking until the goal is reached.read more
The stress as you head overseas is real–and a number of major sending organizations have decided to make a mental health assessment part of their application process. Your mental wellness and resilience have significant implications on the effectiveness of your ministry–and your longevity overseas.
I’d say–and most sites agree–as soon as possible. Your goal is well-adjusted kids who have ownership in your decision, and who can eventually follow God courageously in their own life decisions.
If your kids keep secrets as well as mine did didn’t, I know it can be hard to discern (“What if they tell people in Sunday School and our cover is blown? We’re not ready to tell the whole church”). But even before you tell-them-tell-them, you can start planting seeds in your kids’ heads.read more