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Day 30: Missionary Care

 

 

 

A century or two ago, when most Western missionaries came from Great Britain, some Christians would save their used teabags and ship them off to missionaries living overseas. The practice was so common that the term “used teabag gift” now applies to any strange present sent by well-meaning Christians to foreign missionaries. Our funniest example of a used teabag gift came to us when we were raising support for the mission field and someone from our home church sent a whole box full of used socks for my husband. 

 

Day 29: Home-Office Support

 

 

 

As trying is life on the mission field can be, there is a certain glamour surrounding the calling of the missionary. When we were missionary appointees preparing for the mission field, I lost track of how many times my husband and I were told how lucky we were to have the courage and opportunity to leave our lives back home and move to Siberia to serve the Lord there. 

 

Day 28: Those Who Return Early

 

 

 

Even though my husband and I never moved to Russia as full-time missionaries as we originally expected, we kept in touch with many missionaries we had met during our training. A year or two after we had planned to move to Siberia, Russia changed its entire visa structure so that nearly all missionaries were forced out of the country. Although it was a confusing and tumultuous change at the time, these men and women have since gone on to serve the Lord as mission pastors, field-office workers, and professors who train future missionaries.

 

Day 27: Those Who Can't Go

 

 

 

 

My husband and I met because of our mutual desire to serve God in Russia. In fact, my husband’s job was to recruit me for a short-term mission trip to Siberia. We began the application and training process to become career missionaries right after we got married. (In fact, we made a road trip to the missionary headquarters part of our second honeymoon). We began to raise support for the mission field right after I got pregnant with our first son. We were less than a year away from our anticipated departure date when our second son was born. Ninety minutes after the delivery, he stopped breathing and was without oxygen for anywhere from five to twelve minutes. During the following six-week stay in the NICU, we realized that we would have to put our dreams of mission work to Siberia on hold indefinitely. Years later, we are still not on the mission field.