Recognizing the Missionary Call
Joe and Mary Purcell
ALASKA TO RUSSIA TO SINGAPORE TO ASIA
The primary way you know you are called to missions in particular is the same way you know you are called to the ministry in general: by the inward witness of the Holy Spirit! Your call may be spectacular or subtle, but in either event, you will know by the inward witness.
Develop gradually. We did not set out to pioneer a work in Russia and had no spectacular guidance to move there. After graduating from Rhema and beginning to travel out to the bush in Alaska, we simply continued to follow the inward witness of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. Gradually we moved out in an ever-widening circle of ministry with confirmation all along the way that the Lord was leading us.
Stay connected. We made a point of attending RMAI (Rhema Ministerial Association International) regional meetings and other events at Rhema whenever we could. We never put pressure on people or churches. We share what the Lord is doing through us and give folks an opportunity to become a part of it.
God Leads Everyone Differently
Fred and Judy Lambert
When we received Jesus Christ, we instinctively knew God had a radical plan for our lives. We followed God’s call not really knowing where we were going. We graduated from Rhema but still didn’t know what God wanted us to do long term—full of ideas, but no real direction. So we did what everyone should do when they are unsure about the next step: we worked our secular jobs and remained faithful in the church.
Take the next step. We had several opportunities to work with various ministries in the USA, but none seemed right. We didn’t have any specific leading about being overseas. But one day we got a call from a friend. He was visiting a man in Austria who needed help starting a church. Immediately, we knew this was what God had in mind. We had already been making preparations and getting our finances in order. In two months, we moved to Austria with our two children and eight boxes of clothes and household items!
We enjoy being with friends, having hobbies, and taking time to laugh on the mission field.
When You Are Called
Dennis and Jeanne Cook
- Know that you are called. If you don’t know that you know you are called, you are not yet in faith. It’s the knowing that puts you over!
- Graduate from Bible school. Remember, God is not in a hurry! If He needed you to be somewhere sooner, then He would have called you sooner. Don’t be driven, be led by the Spirit.
- Find a ministry to serve and prove your faithfulness. Ask for the jobs that no other person wants to do. If you are not willing to work on the least desirable jobs, then you probably will not make it on the mission field.
- Investigate the country. Learn about the laws, culture, and cost of living. Visit the country, or take trips to various countries and allow God to speak to your heart. If you don’t have a love for the people of that country, you are not called there!
- Begin to learn the language and other skills. The natural areas in which you develop (construction, mechanics, water systems, medicines, and so forth) will save you time, money, and frustration if you are in a primitive area.
- Get out of debt.
- Find someone to handle your business affairs.
- Prepare for homeschooling if you have children and will be ministering in a primitive setting.
- Raise “more than sufficient” support before you go. Your previous trips to the country will help prove your commitment to living there. You will have immediate expenses upon entering a country, so go with plenty of money to get established physically and legally.
10.Find an organization you can work with. Otherwise, find an area without a ministry and begin one there. Never compete! Always learn from and cooperate with other churches and ministries.
Carry the Gospel Around the World
Walker and Haley Schurz
Our journey to the mission field began with short-term missions trips during high school and college. God fanned into flame a desire and heart to minister outside of our home country while attending ORU and RBTC. After we graduated, we got married, and God dropped it in our hearts to “go and help a Rhema missionary that needs help.” We packed up a few possessions, moved with our 3-month-old son to South Africa, and served on Ed and Laurie Elliott’s ministry team for six years. Every other step for us came as a result of that first step.
Have a normal life and be real. God made it clear to us early in ministry that accepting the call to the mission field did not mean we had to sign a waiver denying the abundant life Jesus came to give us! We enjoy being with friends, having hobbies, and taking time to laugh on the mission field. We purposely network and connect with many ministries and glean from their wisdom and insights.
Embrace different cultures. We chose to jump in with the people and get involved in the culture. Experience is the best way to understand their perspectives. This means weeping at funerals, dancing at weddings, opening up our home, eating weird food, and many other things. We realize that the culture we were brought up in is different, but we avoid an “us and them” mentality. We consider Africa our home.
Living on the mission field has given our family a new view of the world and an international perspective. We interact with some of the most precious people in the world and have friends who are truly family to us.
Are you called? Rhema can help you prepare! Visit rbtc.org to learn more about Rhema School of World Missions.
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