Confronting the Cost

March 17, 2018

As the training draws closer to an end (a phrase I've written several times in this semester's reflective assignments), our worlds are getting rocked by the ever encroaching reality of what it will mean to be missionaries in a remote tribe.

Until just about a year ago, I think I considered being a missionary like any other vocational ministry, just in a different country. Until we became convinced that this ministry is where we're headed for good, life remained comfortable. With our families just miles away and friends that we could have dinner with most any week and a solid church that poured into us more than we could have ever ministered to them, life. felt. good. It wasn't always easy, but it was familiar. Only now are we realizing what it will be like to have familiarity pulled out from under our feet. And it doesn't feel good. It scares the crap out of us.

"Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Some of Jesus' last recorded words to his disciples)

Jesus knew. He empathized with the frailty of our humanity - frailty, which lends our hearts towards fear and our feet towards immobility. He knew his faithful 11 needed to hear it, and He knew the many since then who would need to open up to Matthew 28 to be reminded again and again.

Currently, it's as though Laura and I have taken a flight over the Mount Everest of tasks. We've seen the goal. We've seen the reward. Yet we've seen the long and sometimes treacherous path it will take to get there. We've seen the side trails that could lead us away, and we've seen the narrow ledges that only a dependence on God will get us past. It's not like we view the task in improper perspective of God's goodness and faithfulness. Rather, we view it and pray that God will embrace us tightly, knowing that anything else will result in regret.

The task of reaching an unreached people group is huge, but it's still a year and a half away. I want to do everything I can to cherish the relationships I have right now, but as I told my mom a few days ago, "I'm not good at relationships." I wish I knew how to easily maintain weekly conversations with our church, family and friends. We don't hear from many people these days, so it can be hard at times to win the battle in our minds that we're not doing this alone. This is the cost we're confronting now. Although it is the furthest from the truth that we would be doing this alone, it's very realistic that our closest relationships will take a major hit. As we grasp at straws to have a relationship that we can hold onto as we cross overseas, we're being constantly confronted with the painful reality that we can't really take anything with us. So much the more, we are growing to understand that God is that relationship we should be grasping at.

These are specific ways you can pray for us: to have more courage and strength to maintain distant relationships, and to become convinced of our desperate need to have God as our closest relationship.


Photo cred goes to my brothers. This was from our backpacking trip last summer.