Written by a Cafe 1040 Student
With the semester coming to a close and the end in sight, we have had multiple times of reflection. One of those times happened to be in the Sahara Desert. While we were there, we were instructed to reflect on our time here and to think of a word that summarizes our experience, and then write it in the sand.
Overwhelmingly, I believe God was telling me my word was confidence. Through this trip, His Presence has given me confidence in my relationships with people back home. He has given me confidence in my ability to live in a foreign culture. He has given me confidence in successfully joining a team made up of a random conglomeration of personalities. He has given me confidence in my ability to lead others. He has given me confidence in my ability to navigate an unknown city. He has given me confidence in raising children overseas. He has given me confidence in the fact that this is something I can do with Him. And most of all he has given me confidence that this is something I want to do for the rest of my life.
On another note, God has shown me the reality of what a “missionary’s life” overseas looks like. It’s not much different than yours. We have gone grocery shopping, cooked our own food, done laundry, gone to restaurants and cafes, and spent time on the beach. The only difference is my location and the people around me. The life of a missionary is not extra-glorious. It is not extra spiritual. I don’t have super powers that allow me to be extra effective in my conversations with those who don’t know my Savior. People are not beginning a relationship with Jesus after every conversation I have with them; actually quite the contrary. We didn’t see a single person begin following Jesus. Life can be depressing living in a place of such concentrated darkness. Feelings of isolation in a place void of Christians can take a toll on your morale.
So was this trip unsuccessful? Was it a waste of time and money? Should this place be checked off the list as unresponsive to the gospel? Absolutely not; I have not lost hope. I hold fast to the promises of my Father. Despite all odds, I am confident He will do what he said he is going to do. I am fully convinced. And with that I leave you with this quote from workers in Asia among an unreached people group:
“We would like to see a spiritual harvest, but we are seeing none. We would like to say that we are busy watering seeds that has been planted, but neither are we doing that. We’d like to tell you that we are faithfully planting seeds for a future harvest, but this has not yet been our Work. We wish we could share with you that we spend our time breaking up the soil for the planting of seeds. Not so. Quite honestly, ours is a Work of rock moving.”