"Are we ready for the mission field?"
This is a question I've asked myself several times over the past few days.
There are of lots of things we've done to get "ready" for this. It started with years of prayer and a sense of God's call to missions. Then we completed the year-long IMB application process with countless forms, questionnaires, and meetings. More recently, we've focused on selling our home and everything in it. Next, we'll be saying goodbye to family and friends. But eventually, we'll transition to life on the mission field.
All these steps are part of getting "ready" for the mission field.
Last night we met with a couple who will mentor Amy and me during our first year in Mexico. They probed our call to missions and shared the difficulties of life overseas. It was a sobering reminder that all the things we've done so far are the "easy" part.
Soon things will be much more challenging.
We will dedicate our entire first year to learning to speak Spanish. Much of that time, we will have the functional ability of a first grader. There will be long hours of studying until our brains hurt. We'll attend church every week while not understanding the sermon. Tasks that are now easy will seem impossible in another culture. It will force us out of our comfort zones in ways we don't even understand yet.
In the middle of these challenges, we'll want to come home. Others will ask us to come home. We'll watch other missionary families go home. And we will wonder why we should continue to struggle when it's so easy to go back home.
All of this makes us enter this next stage of ministry with fear and trembling. Are we really cut out for this? Do we have what it takes? Are we really the type of people God calls to the mission field?
When I look inward for reassurance, I'm not hopeful. I'm all too aware of my desire for ease and comfort. I know how much I like to be successful and competent. I know how hard it is for me to be relational as an introvert.
But when I look upward, I'm reminded that my hope isn't in my strength, my talents or my ability to tough it out. My hope is in the presence of God, who promises to be with me. No matter what challenges I face, I know I won't have to face them alone.
I try to remind myself of what God said in Joshua 1:9 as often as possible.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
As I look at the future challenges of life on the mission field, I'm tempted to be afraid. I'm tempted to focus on my weaknesses. And if I had to face these challenges alone, I would certainly fail. But just like Joshua, God has promised to be with me wherever I go. I can choose to follow God's call to make disciples, knowing that He will be with me every step of the way.
So, are we ready for the mission field? No, not in our own strength. But with the promise of God's presence, we can move forward with hope and confidence.
But we also put our hope in the prayers of God's people on our behalf. There will be times when we struggle to pray, and it will be your prayers that make the difference. Will you commit to praying for us regularly? Will you ask God to give us strength when we feel weak?
And how can we pray for you? Send us a message if we can lift you up in prayer.
Jared and Amy Mitcham
Praying for you
Thank you Diane!
Jared, Gina and I are so excited about your and Amy’s adventure. However, the thing that blesses me the most is your grasp of the realty of the fact that it’s not you but God thru you that counts. His presence more than your ability. WOW…your words bless me. God will mightily use the humble. I praise the LORD for you both! Joe Drummer
Joe and Gina. Thank you so much for your comment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thanked God for how He used you in my life. Joe, you led me to the Lord in my dorm room and helped send me on my first mission trip in college. I hope you know that you are a big part of the reason my family is doing what we are doing. God used you in my life. Thank you for being faithful.
God knows when you are ready for Him to use! Just keep being Faithful and obedient to His call and He will lead and handle the rest. I love you guys so much and very excited for your family. I will continue to pray for each of you and the people He has for you to serve in Jesus name. Love, Grammyxoxo
Thank you Grammy for your support and help in this journey. We are so thankful that you are allowing us to stay at your home while we wait to start with the IMB. We appreciate your prayers and your very tangible support.
Jared & family…your testimony above is spot on! It is ONLY when you recognize your deficiencies that His ALL sufficiency becomes even more obvious! This is where you will grow and thrive as you continue to be obedient! Praying!!!
Thank you Mike. I know you are right and you have first hand experience as someone who has served with the IMB. Thank you for your input and keep it coming.
Your family will stay on my prayer list and my heart as you go to meet this challenge God has set before you. He loves to equip us to do hard things!!
Thanks Sue. We appreciate your prayers and thanks for your support throughout the years.
We’re excited for you guys!
Thanks Steven. We miss you and Janna and the kids. Hope y’all continue to be blessed.
Remember: “With God all things are possible”.
Keep the Faith, stand strong and remember others are praying for all of you!!
Thank you for the reminders and for the wonderful dinner at your home this week. We will miss you guys.