We first made arrangements to come and be with senior missionaries for our first term in China. Those plans have yet to be realized. The senior missionaries we made plans to work under have taken the opportunity to adopt a baby girl in the states and have since been tied down with paper work not allowing them to return to China as quickly as they’d like. So in the mean time we are compelled to be self-disciplined in our language studies and ministry. Even though the missionaries aren’t here to learn directly from them, their ministries are still here, and we learn indirectly from what has been established. As a new comer I am not seen as figure head of authority in said ministry. This in turn gives me the view of a ministry during the time the man in charge is not present, which have given me insight on what sort of problems and issues may arise in the event of my absence from my own ministry in the future.
In viewing these issues, I believe it’s important to recognize God’s timing that these issues arise, and therefore trust that God is working in this ministry for the good of all affected by it. Many of these young pastors are single guys beginning romances for the first time, and from a third person perspective I get to see how they handle themselves. It is very likely in my own ministries that I will have single pastors dealing with the same issues.
On the good side with the advancement of technology, it doesn’t cost anything to stay well connected with the men who may still need your opinion or advice. At first what might have been impossible is now a option if the missionary should need to travel. Still technology will never replace the order of the great commission honoring the command to “Go”.
Without having senior missionaries here to tangibly direct our daily tasks, I trust and accept the Lord is working in areas of our life that require the absence of a mentor. I cannot clearly say what areas those might be, but in faith I look to Jesus before the frustration of thwarted plans get the best of me. He’s doing something inwardly that I cannot see. As of this point I may guess at a few things:
1. His Word is Becoming More Precious To Me
-ultimately good counsel comes from Him and a mentor cannot replace devotional time looking to Him for direction and nourishment.
2. Prayer is Become More Frequent
-without being able to directly speak with a senior missionary, and I am reminded that our priority is before The Lord in prayer.
3. Hotter the Fire, Stronger the Iron
-This is a trial. I don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable. Just the kind of conditions a person might be put through to later be used of God.
No small deal of encouragement comes when one can look back in a trial and see God doing something. We still have some time before our friends will return and be able to enjoy their fellowship, but we will trust the Lord and continue to enjoy His fellowship. We won’t forget to the fellowship with the Lord once our friends arrive because He’s taking the time now to prove us and Himself.
If He started a work inside you He will finish it, and all that we commit to Him now will not be wasted. The worrying can stop because the future is firmly in His hands. Satan loses the ability to attack with lies when we believe the truth. If we begin to worry, we give Satan plenty of opportunity not only to discourage our way but build strong holds in our mind to attack other areas in our life. If we cannot trust God with one area of our life, we give the enemy ground to make attacks elsewhere. So we believe the truth and saturate ourselves in it. God is in control, and He’s doing a work inside all of us who are in Christ Jesus.