A HEART TRANSFORMED AND A CALL TO SEND
I am glad to be able to share with you all here. My name is Nancy*.
Please allow me to review my personal growth on the missionary road. It all started when a massive earthquake hit my country. At that time, I had the opportunity to be sent by the church to join our team’s disaster relief near the epicenter. A doctor and I were assigned to a villager’s home on a mountain to cooperate with some Christians from other teams to build temporary houses with wooden stakes and large cloth billboards. One day, when I was helping a local villager cook, I asked her how long she had been a believer? She gave me a look of surprise, as if she didn’t understand. So I asked again, “How long have you believed in Jesus?” (Because her home was a reception station, I thought she was a believer.) To my surprise, she answered me, “Jesus? Isn’t he the God of foreigners? I do not know.” I burst into tears at that time, and I said with heartache, “Jesus is not only the God of foreigners. He is the God of all mankind.” Due to my limited knowledge, I couldn’t explain clearly what kind of God my God is. She looked at the tears in my eyes and was at a loss. In the face of such an earthquake disaster and now this woman who didn’t even know the truth about Jesus, my tears just seemed inadequate to express the pain everyone was going through.
“Jesus is not only the God of foreigners. He is the God of all…”
God planted the seeds of love for souls in my heart during this short-term trip serving those impacted by the earthquake. When I returned home, I took a systematic online theology course to lay a foundation in my life. I also studied other courses. At that time, I felt so blessed and was passionate in study. Some people laughed at me. Meanwhile, I also participated in church service, visiting people in need, and supporting some missionary works. I remember once I heard that a brother was going to Cambodia. If I remember correctly, it was our team’s first medical mission trip to Cambodia. I found him through another person and gave him a small envelope with my blessings in it. He felt surprised and asked me why I supported him. Actually, I don’t know why, but I was moved to do so. I couldn’t go, but my blessings and prayers could accompany him. Doing something for the souls of that land was my happiness.
“I couldn’t go, but my blessings and prayers could accompany him.”
By chance, the person in charge of our team’s nursing home work quit her job. At that time, I was a volunteer serving in the nursing home. The team leadership invited me to lead the project to serve the elderly full time. This was really a grace for me as I had more opportunities to spread the gospel, give haircuts, wash their feet, cut their fingernails, listen to their stories, and even accompany them on their deathbeds. I put on their special clothes for the burial, and I was there to say goodbye. Later, their family members also believed in the Lord because of our service.
During the service in those years, my life was also changed. I participated in our team’s medical outreach clinics in Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, and others organized by our medical team. During each trip, I learned how to raise funds in different churches, organize a team, and coordinate with other teams. I also attended some national mission conferences. My heart surged with enthusiasm. I felt deeply the power of team. The seed in my heart that loves souls was as free as a fish entering the sea. I learned to obey and to be humble. And I learned to let go of the rights I deserve.
Another thing I am grateful for is the good teachers and friends I had around me. My sister Fanny* accompanied me for ten years. She didn’t pressure me. She understood and trusted me. I could tell her everything, and I knew she wouldn’t despise me because of my weakness and immaturity. Instead, she cried and laughed with me. Also, there is my leader, Paul*! The reason I can go so far today is because of his wise guidance. In different environments, he has supported and trusted me. Even when people misunderstood me, he protected me so wisely. One sentence he said that I remember most deeply is, “Nancy*, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. We are all imperfect.” Because of his words, I become who I am today by relying on God’s grace! I strive to keep a clear conscience, speak the truth in love, let my yes be yes and my no be no, do everything in the light, and protect myself and others.
Having said all this, I want to tell everyone about the formation of our mission sending organization (MSO). It didn’t happen suddenly. It took time. There is a saying in my country: “To do things right, it needs to be the right time, the right place and the right people.” These conditions were met before our missionary sending organization was established. A lot of mission organizations and workers have quietly risen in our country. Many missionaries have gone out and suffered much. Many difficulties have occurred. Of course, there are people who persist in the mission field, but they are extremely exhausted physically, mentally, and spiritually. One of my co-workers fell ill in her mission field. When she came back, I met her face to face. My heart was filled with waves of emotion. I felt that her pain was my pain. At that time, the church was not mature enough to send workers out. And the workers were not fully prepared. It seemed that missionary sending lacked well thought-through organization. The result was so much pain.
After reading a missionary sending manual, I realized that we needed to be professionally organized to assist in this work. Under the leadership of Paul*, in 2018, we established a mission sending organization (MSO). We developed policy drawing from those of mature MSO’s but modified according to our domestic reality. Additionally, during these years, our medical team established a medical missionary training project. The doctors in this program study missiology. They participate in short-term medical mission trips several times a year. We also began to encourage the church, build relationships with church leadership, organize missions training, do prayer walks, and teach courses like Perspectives.
This was the beginning and origin of our MSO. In fact, there were challenges and struggles in the process, but because it is His work, He has been always in charge!
*Names changed for security.