A Training Ground...
“Who’d a thunk...” that THIS is how God would use me as a missionary. All of my life I have been dreaming about, preparing for, and praying specifically that I would some day be able to serve on the foreign mission field.
What does someone with no degree do? How can they share the gospel if they only know their own mother language?
“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
My first step into the mission field was to serve at the ITC in the fall and winter of 2009. I had heard that they had a Hispanic ministry there, and through some very powerful answers to prayer and my parents blessing, I knew that it was where God was directing me.
While there in Indianapolis, I worked on the
volunteer staff to help run the ministry center. Among other duties, I worked as the Bible teacher for the inner-city Hispanic students ages 3-12.
After about 5 months of service, it became clear to my parents and me that God was nudging me to take another step.
On January 3rd, 2010...three days after I got home from Indianapolis, I took a plane and flew to Monterrey, Mexico.
This was my mission: to live with a new Christian family and help them (1) learn how to parent with a more effective method, (2) grow in faith as a family, (3) teach their five year old daughter “character”.
In exchange for my service, the family agreed to pay for most of my living expenses.
This has been an extremely difficult undertaking. I knew when I beginning that this would be a challenge, but I have NEVER felt more ready to quit and go home then I did the first month.
The child spoke close to NO English, and I likewise, did not speak her language. I had to come up with some way to train the girl without using a verbal language. Through trial and error, gradually I was able to establish a system that worked for all of us. One of the main tools I have been using is to require Scripture memory each morning.
During my stay here, I have been able to share Christ through English lessons to several individuals. Primarily, I use the Bible as a text book.
Two of my students used to be brought by their older brother and he would study at a near by table while we had our lesson. After the second week, he contacted me via email and asked me “Melissa, how DO we love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength? I have been thinking about it ever since you were talking to my brothers about it and I can’t figure it out!” God’s word NEVER fails to reach hearts.
“For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11
A few weeks ago, I was given the opportunity to fill in for a character teacher at a Latin/American school to teach on the subject “Self-esteem.”
During three days of teaching, I was able to speak to 600 students ages 7 to 12. Normally, it can be a touchy thing to bring up “God” in school, but I carefully maneuvered around that issue and used the class to share my testimony.
In order to have a proper view of self (self-esteem), one must know that they were created for a purpose. If we learn to rest in the peace that God can use us the way we are, indeed... He LOVES us the way we are... then our entire life can change for the better.
With encouragement from Scripture and frequent contact via telephone with my family, I have been able to get through the most difficult days.
God has taught me several really important lessons:
One, to have endurance. Second, to have faith that even when a task seems impossible, HE will do work the work He wants done through any vessel, regardless of ability and education.
“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:14-16
Please continue prayer as I prepare to come home in May!
With love and smiles,
Labels: FAMILY, MISSIONS