10 THINGS A DAUGHTER OF GOD WILL TELL YOU

Jul 13

Today I read an article with the following title: 10 Things Missionaries Won’t Tell You”. You can check it on this website:

http://www.trinitykenya.com/10-things-missionaries-wont-tell/

It was so disturbing that I had to write “my point of view about each of the 10 things they pointed out. But before I start, I have to say I understand. I do. If I didn’t I couldn’t disagree. You can only agree or disagree on things you understand, so… Yes. I do understand. I’ve seen it. I’ve felt it. It happened to me. However, I have overcome each one of them in the power of Christ and I did it before and after becoming a missionary. Because we all go through hardship in this world, and that’s not a missionary “thing”, for “the whole world lieth in wickedness” and we are all in it until we die. As a missionary I have no intention or the need to raise support by getting people to feel sorry for me, that’s what beggars do. I am not miserable for being a missionary. My life is not harder because I chose this career. It is a different “hard”, that’s all. Every career has it’s own difficulties, and yes, there are things we keep to ourselves because, as Christians, we are not supposed to expose people’s flaws. But that’s something which applies to EVERY Christian, not to missionaries alone. So, before I lose focus, here it goes…

 

1)   I HAVE TIME AND ENERGY TO WRITE! AND I DO IT BECAUSE I AM HAPPY TO SHARE WHAT THE LORD IS DOING AND I WANT TO ENCOURAGE MORE PEOPLE TO DO THE SAME, WITH OR WITHOUT ME.

When I worked for a non-Christian organization I had to write reports. They were boring sometimes, but I did it anyway. It was my job and it was necessary for the company to work properly. There were unnecessary reports that I also had to write and I did it because, as a good employee and a Christian, I understood it was the right thing to do. Also because I am an adult and I am well aware that there are things in life you just have to do and they are not fun but none of them will kill me. Now that I am a missionary and my reports are about the amazing power of God moving in my life and through my life, I am really excited to share it with everyone I can. I sometimes feel a bit tired when I have to do it in two different languages, but knowing that way more people will be blessed because I’ve translated that to a language they can understand, gets me all the motivation I need to sit for a couple extra hours in front of my computer and write it again in the second language. Isn’t that what I’ve signed up for when I became a missionary? Wasn’t it to spread the gospel? Isn’t it my job (and every Christian job too)?

In addition, writing is something we learn at school. All who had been blessed with the opportunity to go to school had to do it for years since they were kids. I can understand kids who don’t want to do homework sometimes and need a parent to MAKE them do it as they feel like they are gonna die if they have to write some lines. I cannot accept as normal a grown up who could have chosen a job which does not include writing feel too tired to share his/her testimonies ONCE A MONTH while most people share their lives daily on Facebook (pictures included). I remember what it felt like when almost no one had any intersest in my life. I’ve seen people striving for attention, thirsty for someone who wants to hear what they have to say. I am most certainly happy to have people read my newsletters and I have been making videos too because I know some don’t have time to read, some don’t like reading, but most of them may need words of encouragement that I can give through my monthly news.

“Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.” (1 Timothy 3:1)

 

2)   FACEBOOK “LIKES” MEAN PEOPLE ARE, AT SOME LEVEL, LISTENING TO WHAT I AM SAYING AND AGREEING AND BEING INFLUENCED.

As a missionary I want to spread the gospel and make disciples and influence people. My finances come from God. He and He alone is my provider and I have no intention to put my trust on people. And even if I did, Facebook would not be the way for me to get them to give me money, I would call them, talk to them in person. Facebook and media in general are the channels through which I give people the chance to know that they can partner with me IF they feel God is telling them to do so, but that’s not even my focus. When I post things on Facebook my intention is first to reach people, not for people to reach me. I want to give them what I have received from God, and not to ask them to take God’s place in my life as my shephered and provider. So yes, I feel encouraged when someone”likes” my posts because it means that the seed I planted found a good soil and it will bare fruit in the right time. Should I write here the parable of the sower…? Let me write this verse instead:

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

 

3)   I DON’T ASK FOR MONEY. I GIVE PEOPLE THE OPPORTUNITY TO PARTNER WITH ME IF THAT’S WHAT GOD IS TELLING THEM TO DO. MY GOD HAS EVERYTHING I NEED AND I AM A DAUGHTER OF THE OWNER OF THE UNIVERSE, NOT A BEGGAR.

Sermon of the mount, Jesus’ words, not mine:

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:31-33)

You feel called to partner with me in my calling? Is that your calling, to give money to support me in what I am doing? Awesome! God will bless you for being obedient to Him, not because you saved me or anyone who is with me from starvation – which I would gladly go through if the Lord one day prepares me to love in Him in such a sacrificial way, but as my earthly father taught me once (and I quote), “dying for Jesus is a privilege for few”. So, for now, I am being very well taken care of by my Heavenly Father who has blessed me financially in many different ways. It was horrible when I depended on my own strength and did not aknowledge that it was God taking care of me. I stopped striving, now I am abiding, and I am living way better now! As I learn to love God more, I trust Him more and fear is losing strength in many areas of my life. But that’s not even because I am a missionary. That’s because I am following Jesus.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

 

4)   I WILL SOMETIMES SHARE ABOUT MY STRUGGLES AND SHOW PEOPLE I AM A REAL PERSON, JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, AND GOD IS WITH ME EVEN IN THOSE MOMENTS, SO THAT THEY BELIEVE THEY ARE NOT ALONE EITHER. BUT I DO HAVE THINGS I KEEP TO MYSELF.

You don’t believe me? Check the other texts on my website. There are many. I still have to translate the old ones which are just in Portuguese. However, I do have a private life which I share with very close friends and family and there are things which are just between me and Jesus, and that’s not a sin. It’s called privacy and also intimacy, and the Bible says we should not give our pearls to pigs, so I keep my treasures safe and my pain is shared with people who are the  closest to me. The closer you are, the more you know, the deeper you go. But sometimes I feel the Holy Spirit leading me to share things with more people, so I do it. And I’ve received good feedback. People feel encouraged, and they know they are not the only ones who are in pain.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

 

5)   I NEED VACATION. WHO DOESN’T? I MAY OR MAY NOT MAKE IT PUBLIC. AND WHO SAID I HAVE TO TELL PEOPLE WHERE I GO ON VACATION? I AM NOT A CELEBRITY AND I HAVE NO INTENTION TO PROMOTE GOSSIP.

I’ll have to be very blunt here… People who keep posting on Facebook (or wherever) the restaurants they go, the food they eat, the movies they watch, the things they do ALL THE TIME are craving for attention and are feeling really lonely. Well… I am not. I am happy the way I am. I have my mom to ask me what I did every day, I have my boyfriend to share what I had for lunch and the book I read, friends, etc. They are the ones who will know where I went on vacation. I may post a few pictures on Facebook. MAYBE. But if I think they will cause people who are not my friends to say stupid things, I’ll not give them opportunity to sin, and I will save myself from having to forgive people for stupid comments. However, if I do post pictures, I will not mind what strangers say, and my friends will be happy to see me happy too. I will just focus on counting the blessings, and sometimes use my own life to show people that God gives good things to His children. Some people will be jealous and keep living under the control of Mammon, some will see that they can believe for a better life. They’ll choose what to think, not me. I’ll choose to be thankful.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.” (Psalm 136:1)

 

6)   IF I CAN HOST YOU I WILL SAY “YES”. IF I CAN’T I WILL SAY “NO”. EITHER WAY I WILL BE GLAD TO HELP THE WAY I CAN.

In the attempt to be “nice”, people tend to put themselves in situations they want to blame others for. Mostly because they are so afraid of being seen as something they are not, they say “yes” to things they don’t want to do, can’t do and will be miserable doing, but they are the ones causing it because they can’t say ”no”. I am really thankful for the people who hosted my outreach team in Nepal. We were 25 people, most of them with little experience in missions, preaching the gospel or even washing their own clothes. Those people from Iris Ministry who hosted us did more than host, they served us and discipled us. They could have done way better than us in everything we did without us, but they humbled themselves and became our guides and interpreters, and even cooked for us. I’ve learned so much from them, just by watching them taking care of us and serving us. That’s because they are mature Christians. They could handle it. They had all it took to host us and help us “help” them as we were learning how to serve the Lord in a foreing land. They laid down their lives for Jesus and are multiplying what they have received. And they are doing it for free, asking nothing in return. Because of them I now want to do the same for others. I want to give other teams the opportunity to have a place to stay on outreach and help them become who God called them to be (whenever I have a home, of course…). I want to disciple people as I serve them. If I simply wanted a job done, I’d hire a professional to do it. But I want more. I want to invest in people. Jesus came for the sick and he discipled people who were not ready. He TOOK THEM IN when they needed to be TRAINED and SENT THEM OUT when they were READY to go. It’s a matter of perspective.

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” (John 13:14)

 

7)   GOING HOME IS A BLESSING AND A PRIVILEGE SOME PEOPLE WOULD RISK THEIR LIVES TO HAVE.

I think about those people who had their homes destroyed by war. They have no place to return to. I think about those who have no family to visit or those who can’t visit their families because they have no money or because of visa issues or whatever… I am right now praying and believing for finances to go with  my boyfriend back to my country to visit my family and then go visit his family too. I miss them. And I will “have to” visit other people who are supporting me (with prayers and money) and I am glad and excited to do it! Because a lot of them would like to be in my position but they can’t. They have a heart for missions but they were not called to go where I am going and some can’t go because of other reasons. I feel it’s my duty to share with them what I’ve done and what I’ve seen. I want them to experience as much as possible what I have experienced while I was away. They deserve to harvest the fruit of what they have planted in the kingdom through my life. So I am glad I will have the chance to go back bringing the fruits for them to see and rejoyce with me. They work hard to send me money. They spend time praying for me, crying out to the Lord so that I have breakthrough. They go with me in spirit to places I could not go by myself, they have been backing me up. It is very selfish and immature to think that I am going by myself and that I’m doing this alone. I am not. They are my team! It’s not fair to take the prize and not share with them. Going home is time to celebrate! It can be tiring to manage the agenda to meet with so many people and for that I need help too. And I am getting help. I’m also very honored by the invitations to preach in churches and by people who want to see me. I feel so loved and so blessed! I won’t let the party time become a burden! I will rejoyce and celebrate with those who have been faithful to God and to me! And the Lord will help me meet with as many people as I can while I’m home. Are you kidding me??? It will be awesome!!!

“I will sing the LORD’s praise, ¶ for he has been good to me.” (Psalms 13:6)

 

8)   AS EVERYONE ELSE, I HAVE TO KEEP MY OWN LIFE IN CHECK. AND I WILL HAVE TO STOP SOMETIMES TO GET THINGS BACK ON TRACK. AND THEY WILL BE BACK ON TRACK BECAUSE I HAVE DECIDED TO FOLLOW JESUS AND THERE IS NO TURNING BACK.

No ministry is more important than my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I don’t care if people think I am too quiet, not posting enough testimonies on my website, if my videos with news should have more stories. I care about what God thinks of me first and how things are going between us. Because He is the one that comes first and if I  love Him above all things and seek His kingdom first, everything else will fall into place. There will be difficult moments. There will be deserts. But He promised to be with me. He promised not to let me fall. And you know what? I believe Him!

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 1:8)

 

9)   WE HAVE TO TRUST THE LORD AND BE GUIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT EVEN IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS. AND WE HAVE TO BE WISE. THE WEEDS ARE STILL AMONG THE WHEAT. AND IN THE BODY OF CHRIST THERE ARE MANY CHILDREN. YOU SHOULD NOT TRUST KIDS WITH KNIVES.

 

Of course there are many people you can’t trust. It’s very naive to think that everyone who says he/she is a follower of Jesus actually is one. Jesus said, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46) He also told a parable in which he said, “For the people of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light.”(Luke 16:8). And it is sad to admit that, in general, people in the church are very naive. I believe it’s because there are a lot of babies in Christ and very few spiritually grown up Christians in this world. And people who have been walking with Jesus a bit longer have a hard time acknowledging it and have been trusting kids with adult matters and are getting hurt in the process. A lot of people don’t test the spirits and people or even ask the Lord before they put themselves at risk as they connect with the wrong individuals. That’s a shame…  Such lack of wisdom has been causing a lot of damage and pain in the body of Christ. And you don’t need to be a missionary to relate to what I am saying. You just have to go to church. We NEED to be guided by the Holy Spirit in everything.

 

“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” (John 16:13)

 

10) I AM NEVER ALONE! JESUS SAID HE WOULD NOT LEAVE ME ALONE AND HE IS NO LIER!

First, we have to stop reinforcing that lie that states that missionaries are some kind of flawless super heros. That not only creates a false picture of them but it also creates a false picture of everybody else. Missionaries are not the best Christians on earth. And everyone has to take his/her own cross everyday and follow Jesus. And the power that raised Jesus from the  dead is available to every Christian, not only missionaries.

Having said that…

The time in my life when I felt the loneliest was not as a missionary. And during that time I learned to believe in Jesus’ words when he said he would not leave us orphans. I decided to develop a closer relationship with God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit during that time and it was the best thing I could have done! Every time the enemy comes to make me feel lonely, I “ask Jesus out” and He always says “yes” and I’ve never had to feel alone again. It’s a choice. You choose to believe. You choose to talk to God and invite the Holy Spirit into your life instead of feeling lonely. You can do it everytime you want or need. It’s a choice. And it’s by faith. Anyone can do it, even a missionary far away from home.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18)

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:26-27)

 

In my opinion, the text I read is two things: (1) a cry of the lost sheep in desperate need to be rescued and taken back to the shephered’s arms; (2) a lie of the enemy to make people see missionaries as losers, desperate poor people, to discorage those who are missionaries and may be influenced by those sad statements. They may be true to some people, bBut that’s not the life Jesus paid on the cross for us, missionaries or not. And I choose to agree with what God says in His Word. And I can testify that it is true! I am a missionary. And I am happy and proud of it!

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” (Romans 1:16)

 

Blessings,

Miriam Massuia

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