Friday, February 22, 2008

God, give me a vision ...

I am a missionary, but I am not what some people would think of as an "official, trained missionary." Technically, I came to Taiwan to teach English. That's what it says on my Visa anyway. I feel compelled to mention that I am not using English teaching solely as a means to share my faith. I love teaching English, and I try to be a good English teacher. However, I also try to make the most out of the times that my students ask me about my faith. Lately though, I've felt like a missionary without a mission -- which is hardly a missionary at all! I'm not sure what I should focus on, or if I should focus on one area or group of people. As I mentioned before, I came to Taiwan as an English teacher. I didn't take a DTS or go through any other type of missionary training to teach me the best way to go about doing things. Another thing that makes things kind of weird is that I'm still very much in the language learning phase, which means almost all of my free time is devoted to studying Chinese rather than church planting or some other missionaryish thing (I know that language learning is also necessary for a missionary, but you know what I mean). On top of that, I've been volunteering in an OMF ministry every Friday that focuses on homeless people and prostitutes. Right now I feel a bit confused -- like I have too many irons in the fire to be effective at anything. Outside of work, should I do nothing but study Chinese? Should I stop working with OMF so that I can solely focus on my students as my ministry? I just feel like I'm doing something wrong because most missionaries I talk to seem to have a very specific vision for their work like church-planting, the Hakka people, college students, or what have you. I'm just kind of floating. I know God can still use me, but would I be a more effective missionary if I put all of my energy into one group of people? Of course the language learning is a must, but outside of that, should I pray for God to give me a very specific vision for my life here? Or am I making too big a deal out of this and should just continue living life like I normally do and just see who God brings my way? Comments from all you experienced missionaries will be greatly appreciated!

3 comments:

  1. Do you love God? Then He calls you to love the people He created.
    I know you love God--so it would come natural from a heart overflowing with love to want to reach out to those in need.

    We have a sign that you read when leaving our church parking lot that says--You Are NOW Entering Your Mission Field.
    Unless you are not at peace-stay where God has planted you.
    I am not a "trained Missionary" but as my friend told me----Don't over think things. A great tendency of mine.
    Just love them. When He walked among them He met them where they were at. He ate with them, rode in boats with them, went to weddings.
    He was a part of the everyday life.
    You know all this.
    Just take His heart to them.
    Then when you are on your face before Him--just ask Him if He is pleased with you. He will make sure you hear Him if you are willing to listen.
    His mission plan for us--Love the Lord your God with all you heart,soul, mind---then love your neighbor as yourself.

    Just love them. Sometimes I look at someone and ask God to let me love them and see them the way He does.

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  2. I think we are to share with those we come across in our daily lives... whether that means students, Hakka, or whomever. Bloom where you are planted, they say :0. You are exactly WHERE you are supposed to be, doing exactly WHAT you are supposed to be doing! ;)

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  3. Interesting questions. I am without answers. Just random thoughts.

    I think God will reveal His will in His time. Knowing you are restless could mean many things.

    Is God redirecting you to focus on one thing?

    Are you trying too hard?

    Is it that you feel like you have to choose one because others do?

    Gal. 1:10, you don't have to please anyone but your Lord. And knowing you are out there serving already, I believe you already are pleasing God. His spirit lives in you so no matter what you are doing, he is present. All things are ministry if done as unto the Lord.

    Your love for many groups of people could be how God wired you and that is okay too. I am that way. I say no guilt or pressure to pick one. Unless God is leading you to focus more specifically.

    I do think we can get too busy though doing good things that we miss the still small voice of God. I've been there many times. That's another topic.

    Please don't compare your ministry with others. Be YOU! That might look different than other missionaries, but it's not bad. Diversity is a good thing. How fun to know you are touching lives. People of all types matter to God. Love them all as you have the opportunity.

    God loves you for who you are, not what you do. But He loves it that you are willing to go for Him. Faith in action. The hands and feet of Jesus.

    Is this long enough yet?

    Hope something I said helped. May God direct your steps day by day. No pressure. Only love and grace.

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