So, you’ve made it. You’re in the field. The mission field. Now what? After months of determining the call, filling our applications, visiting The Assemblies of God headquarters in Springfield, raising money, buying plane tickets, getting rid of stuff, and packing suitcases, you have arrived. Let the fireworks explode and the angels sing, right? Well, usually, no. You arrive at your country jet-lagged. You’re exhausted and now face the insurmountable task of simply finding your way to a bed in a country that does not speak your mother tongue. Maybe you have friends or colleagues that pick you up from the airport and help you acclimate. Nevertheless, the moment comes. You are alone. In your own room. To fend for yourself. And everything is different. The washing machine—different settings. The oven—different temperature. The phone, internet, or anything else—a different planet. How are you going to get around? Do you know how to order pizza? Or even meat and cheese from the deli counter? What about friends? Will those be the colleagues that graciously picked you up from the airport, or do you to go around the nationals and internationals and hope they like you enough to let you in their circle? How are you going to learn the language? How are you going to acclimate? Will you even?
What about the spouse! The kids! What does an international move across the ocean even do to the marital and family dynamic? Will the cultures of secularism and shame seep in as you integrate? Will you become aggressive and agitated? Or so reserved, words escape you? Will your children adapt? Of course! But maybe they adapt by hitting, punching, and bitting because they are so frustrated because no one understands.
You’ve made it. This is it! Congratulations!
Yes. It is hard. There is no way for anyone to ever prepare you for the road ahead. What you are doing, no one has ever done before. God. Called. You. To do this.
You are called. When all else fails, lean on His Grace, His Mercy, and His Love. Let Him take you through and you’ll find that he is preparing you for the next step, and the next step, and the next step. No matter how hard it gets:
You are called. And it never ends.
My family and I have personally experienced much of what is mentioned above (plus some). I wish I could say it is written out of proportion, but, gloriously, no. Each difficulty has prepared us for relying on God more and more. It is my hope that you, dear reader, can somehow relate, or prepare yourself to relate to, and be reminded of the steadfast love of our God that carries us all through.
Furthermore, I’ve written in this tone intentionally. Because no matter how wonderful it is or how smoothly your acquisition to another culture, you will face a day when it caves around you. I pray that you are able to face all the struggles in a Christ-like manner. I would almost pray that you don’t face struggles; however, from my perspective, it is the struggle, it is the pain, rejection, and bitter agony that drive you to fully accepting the realities of your call. Reminders of all that you have given up, and all that Christ has poured upon you. May He sustain you. May He sustain your call. Forever.