The first month or two overseas are often filled with bells and whistles. Everything seems exciting. All is a thrill, as you learn your way around your new “home.”
The sights, the foods, the smells all bring you joy (well most anyways).
Yet, after a few more months pass by…. well it just isn’t exciting anymore.
In fact, the same things that were exciting now seem to be a stumbling block.
It is kind of like marriage. Before marriage, you were on your best foot, always going the extra mile. Every date was special. Then you get married and after the honeymoon stage ends, those little things you once saw as enduring can now be a royal pain. They can annoy and bother you.
The same is true as a missionary.
So, what do you do when you just want to go “home?”
How do you stay for the long haul?
First, you must REMEMBER who brought you there. Remember how the Lord orchestrated the details. Remember why you came. Remember your call.
Second, PRAY. Pray and ask the Lord to give you a love for the land, a love for the people, a love for the ministry you have been called to. Pray for the people you have been called to serve.
Third, RESIST. Resist the urge to think about “home.” Resist the want to romanticize what once was. Resist the enemy and his attacks. He’d like nothing more than for you to pack your bags and leave. In fact, he’d win. Resist Him and stand strong in the Lord.
Fourth, STAY IN THE WORD. The enemy longs to discourage you, he longs to make you want to quit. He longs to fill your mind with lies. Therefore, you must stay in God’s Word, read it, pray it, memorize it.
Finally, STAY. Unless there are legitimate reasons for you to go “home.” Stay. The bad feelings will pass in time with Bible study and prayer. The difficulties will seem small as you begin to see the people you came to serve through God’s eyes.
Being a missionary can be fun, but it can also be difficult. But God never called us to easy. He called us to “follow Him.” He called us to be “salt and light.” He called us to “go into all the world.”
May we not only answer the call, but may we stay true to the call. No matter what!