Missionaries: Jacks of all Trades

One of my favorite things about my life is that there is no “normal” on the mission field. We stay incredibly busy, but we are not usually doing the same monotonous task all day long. Before we started the church here, I never knew all that was involved in making a ministry function. I took for granted all the “behind-the-scenes” work that made our home church run smoothly. We members of Team Honduras quickly learned that we could not opt out of tasks because it was not in our job description. Regardless of what degree we earned in college, we had to be willing to learn new skills, many times out of our comfort zones.

Since becoming a missionary, I’ve had to learn how to keep books and careful records of finances (and I am not a math person). I teach a class of 30 two to five year-olds, even though I got my degree in secondary education. I learned how to pour cement and tie rebar at the site of our new church building. I recently got to scrub into surgery during a medical brigade. I communicate with our supporters and help maintain our website. I’ve learned to organize and prepare a meal for over 100 people. At church, I can scrub a toilet and wring a mop with the best of them. I’ve had to brush up on my piano skills to play in church, something I would never do in the States. But on the mission field, you don’t say you’re not qualified. You just roll up your sleeves and get in there! In the early years of a ministry, if you don’t do it, it won’t get done.

Robbie now knows quite a bit about architecture and construction from our first building project; he’s learned about photography and videography to improve our promotional material. Matt learned how to play the guitar and lead music in church, because there was no one else able to do so. He also taught himself how to produce videos so that we can send our supporters a Year-in-Review DVD each year. We’ve all had to stretch ourselves here on the mission field, because there’s so much to be done.

I once read a book for wives that included a “Standard Dumb Cluck Test.” I was immediately convicted about my hesitancy to learn new things. The author admonished women for not being “crowned with knowledge.” She warned that all too often we don’t learn to do things that don’t fall under the job description we’ve envisioned for ourselves. She asked questions like, “Have you ever checked the oil in your car?” and “Can you use a hammer, saw, tape measure, and screwdriver?” I was challenged to be my husband’s helpmeet in ways I had never considered, because, as she said, “Any good woman should be able to fix a screen door.”

I definitely struggle with flexibility. I like to know what I’m supposed to do ahead of time, make a list, and get to it. And heaven help the person that tries to add to my list! Being on the mission field has taught me not to say, “That’s not my area,” or “I’m not really comfortable doing that.”

Let’s forget our job descriptions and comfort zones. The Lord doesn’t accept such lame excuses! To opt out of opportunities such as these is to miss a great blessing. Let's allow the Lord to stretch us and use us in new ways. He always makes it worthwhile.

…the prudent are crowned with knowledge. –Proverbs 14:18
4 Responses
  1. Ricky Says:

    I think it may have started back with you and Kathleen when you were only three or four years old and I had you put lotion on my feet after a hard day at work. Well, maybe not. I love you.

  2. Jason Little Says:

    I like this perspective Christine! Thanks to all of you for "getting your hands dirty" doing whatever needs to be done in Honduras! God is glorified when we put our hands to the plow in His work. Have a great day.

  3. Gwen Says:

    I'm thankful for you and proud of you, my dear. I know that you depend on the Lord but need to put in some hard work as well. You will be blessed and the church will be blessed as well. I love you!

  4. Kathy Says:

    Well said. We're not being carried to heaven on "flowery beds of ease" are we? Perhaps the truest of ministry takes place when we step (or are shoved) out of our comfort zones. He HAS to take over then and be made strong in our weakness. But first YOU were willing to be soft clay. He's moulding you beautifully!
    I love you,
    Aunt Kathy

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