You jump on a plane that leads you to a plane that will get you to another plane. This plane jumping continues for about 30 hours, mainly in the air just to reach your final destination. When you get to the African mission field everything changes and your norms are no longer normal. Everything you know and how you do things has to be thrown out and you have to learn a brand new way of life.
Me, I come from a place of comfort. Always had a nice bed, abundant food to eat, clean water, reliable energy, multiple pairs of shoes, closets full of clothes, fresh socks and undies, plus access to so much more. It is really easy to become complacent and not ever want to live outside of that life style. But even in the preparation coming over here, I had to be wise on what to bring. This mission field here is a 3rd world country, where even our homeless people in the States have more access and live a better life style than most people here.
Here in Malawi, as soon as you step off the plane you know you are in a different world. The muggy humidity combined with the heat just makes you sweat without even doing any activity. The smell of fire, dirt, body odor, and bad breath add to the experience. Then you leave the airport and what I once never appreciated in the states doesn’t really exist here. The roads are bumpy and if there is blacktop, it isn’t maintained. Pot holes are normal and your ride is like the turbulence you experience on the plane ride over.
From the start you are hit with Jet Lag, where that could really take a toll on your body and bring you to exhaustion. The food you eat, you have to be careful with because it is a lot more raw with no standards of cooking it. The word sanitary isn’t a common word among the locals and the first few days could be a shock to your system if you aren’t careful. Malaria is a real thing and you have to daily take a pill that should prevent the virus but not always a hundred percent sure it will. The pills alone make you feel nauseous and want to throw up, along with dizzy and feverish symptoms. You can’t drink the water and you have to live off of purified water bottles.
Then when you start to interact with the people, you really struggle with communication because of the lack of English they might know. But it is important to attempt to learn their language so that you can earn their respect and allow them to welcome you in as one of them. The good thing is that here, many of the leaders speak English. It is wise to learn their culture and try to mold as much as you can into their daily routine.
So the question is, why would anybody want to go through all that? Why would you want to give up your comfortable lifestyle and put your body through so much? Why would you choose to go into a foreign land where on the extreme side it could mean death? This makes no sense to many people and sometimes it doesn’t even make sense to myself. The USA is a wonderful place with so much ease and abundance.
From a worldly stand point it makes no sense at all! It makes no sense to give up all your materialism, your time, and even your life to go into a land where you don’t know anybody for the purpose to teach them about Jesus Christ and make disciples. When your mind set is of the world it is hard to understand that because that is all you live for. I know, because that was my life before I became a Christian. It was about how much money, materialism and recognition I could get before I died and went into the unknown.
But for a Christian, it totally makes sense. Now I know that no every person is called into the mission fieldoverseas, but for those who are followers of Jesus Christ, we are all called to lay down our lives to further the Gospel to all nations and make disciples. Those are Jesus’ last words. So why give up your comfort? Why give up your life? Your money? Or anything else? It is because this life is temporary and when you are a believer and your mindset is on the eternal, overseas missions work totally makes sense. We are all called to it whether it is in your land, or a foreign land, we all have a call to GO.
So why am I willing to give up my life? I know this world is temporary and I know that there are people that need to know the love of Jesus. And the African people, who are God’s beloved also, need to hear the good news. For me, if just one life is changed and added to God’s family it was all worth it! I want to stand before God on that day and hear those words, well done good a faithful servant, you were faithful with your life.
This world and everything in it will come and go, but souls will last forever. Invest into what really matters!