When my husband and I headed overseas, my soul was one giant, multicolored ball of playdough.
There was the largest lump, the lemony yellow of excitement–finally pursuing a dream I’d previously shelved under “not gonna happen.”
We’re all about bringing you tools you can use to truly go there, serve Him, and love them well. So we’ve partnered with Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Mission to bring you today’s (totally printable) infographic: 7 Standards of Excellence in Missions.
Then why do standards like these matter?
You might feel frustrated, too, by patronizing “help” that actually hurts. Or by work that makes us feel better but makes them worse. Or by global work that continues cycles of poverty. Maybe you’re angered by missions trips cannibalizing local employment, or blind to cultural norms so people are turned off to the Gospel.
We get it. The journey to overseas missions can feel like you’re trying to build a plane midair. With a root beer can, scotch tape, and a plastic flower. On the hard days, it’s possible you need some unshakable truth as you head overseas.
So today we’ve cobbled together a free printable infographic with some truths to hang your hat on, even if some days it feels like an overlarge sombrero. Post this in a cupboard, on a bathroom mirror, or tucked in all those books you’re reading for your training.
And chew on God’s promises for you in this journey.
The dust, fine and red, coated the plants lining our roads. Sweat beaded on my upper lip. As my children lay awake in bed, I stuck my head in and reminded them to keep guzzling plenty of water, after a friend of theirs landed in the clinic due to dehydration.
Unfortunately it paralleled my parched insides. So many tasks to which I put my hand seemed to droop, languishing and limp. The cost-benefit ratio of my parenting, my ministry there in Uganda, and a handful of relationships seemed tilting precariously in the wrong direction.
As we recently wrote, according to the Joshua Project, the world’s population of Muslims is estimated at over 1.8 billion. (With a “B.”) That’s 23.9% of the globe. Out of 3,734 people groups, 3,191 (85.5%) remain unreached with the love and hope of Jesus. Yet a brilliant, beautiful church in the Middle East grows steadily.
And more Muslims have turned to follow Jesus in the past 15 years than in the previous 1400 years combined.
With Ramadan upon us, could we as God’s people lift up the church in the Middle East?
We know: The road can feel long in support raising, the discouragement real. Sometimes you might even wonder whose bright idea this was to go there this way.
We’re impressed by Support Raising Solutions’ top five verses for fundraising (a passage from Nehemiah? Who knew?). If you’re wanting to sink your teeth into the biblical basis for raising support, this page and this page could give you a rousing start, and here’s a longer one for all you theological (or seriously skeptical) types here.
So…we loved your enthusiasm for our 5 [Printable] Missions Scriptures to Memorize (*That You Probably Don’t Know Yet) for your Journey. Ready for more?
Missions Catalyst has put together an impressive calendar of upcoming missions events you just might not want to miss. Dealing with discouragement, isolation, fear, or feelings of inadequacy as you head overseas? This could be a great chance to get together with your tribe.
P.S. Did you know Johnson University offers a totally online Intercultural Studies course?
COMMA, the Coalition of Ministries to Muslims in North America, put this together–and from the feedback, it sounds like Journey to Jesus: Building Christ-Centered Friendships with Muslims will help you feel equipped and less offensive to those to whom you long to reach out. (Or wish you did.)
When I headed overseas, I was drowning in cardboard boxes, spreadsheets of to-do’s, and fundraising meetings. So many, I was dreaming about it. Sometimes my ability to string two words together in a sentence was severely tested. I can’t answer any more questions, make any more lists, get one more shot, take one more ugly passport photo, remember one more word in a language I don’t use yet, or smile politely at one more person.
The chaos of the journey overseas has an ability to bring that whole verse to a new level, where “we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Romans 8:26).
So to kick off 2019, we’re throwing an infographic at you for you to print out. (New Year, new infographic, that’s what we always say.) We hope it will offer you words when there are none.
It was a big “aha!” for me when I realized God wanted me to do his will even more than I did.
I used to think I needed to be alert for the smallest sign, the slightest indication of what He wanted. Wasn’t that being surrendered? I thought. But for me, I was a bit afraid of missing the signs. I ended up traipsing around on spiritual eggshells, deciphering some Christian version of the tea leaves.
The William Carey Library has compiled this free daily prayer guide for the largest unreached people groups in the world. Download it here–and consider this free printable infographic for unreached people groups while you’re at it!
Craig Thompson challenges “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”, “If it’s important to you, then it’s important to God” and other phrases he’s put in perspective in his time on the field. Great words here.