Tag Archives: missionary

8 Reasons You Should Never Become a Missionary

***None of this is original.  I took it all from the Laura Parker Blog (here).  I hope she doesn’t mind.***

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1. Don’t Become a Missionary if You Think You Are Going to Change the World. First, high expectations doom to disappoint, but, also, maybe your desire to change the world is trumping your desire to serve. Ask yourself if you would be happy moving overseas to a much harsher environment in order to quietly help a local, while getting no recognition and seeing no fruit in the process. If you can answer honestly yes, then maybe you’re still in the running. {Don’t worry, we thought we would’ve answered yes, but found out that we really had some unhealthy saviour-complexes to begin with. You can read about that here: On Living a Good Story and Not Trying So Hard and The Guy in the Orange Shirt.}

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How does your giving help me?

Some of you have been supporting me financially for 10 years or more; others have started more recently.  Some can’t give financially but pray faithfully for our work for God.  Some of you don’t fall into either category.  In whatever situation you find yourself, you may wonder just how your giving and praying helps me here in Romania.  My brother put together this sweet “infographic” (never even knew that was a word until a few days ago) to explain how your involvement impacts more than we missionaries.

As you think, pray, and give, remember that you’re not only helping me to live in Romania, but you’re providing for books for Bible school students, materials for outreach, salaries for Romanian evangelists, food for the homeless, clothes for poor gypsies…  Your giving goes far past me to reach many people in Bucharest.  Thanks for being a part of this ministry!

On the fear of God and invisibility

invisible-man

In a lot of ways, this post is about one of the biggest struggles I have here in Romania.

Living in a city of two million and in a country whose language and culture I barely understand, far from most friends and family and away from the people who have held me accountable for years, I often feel invisible.  I could probably go the whole day and not run into a single familiar face or have a single person say “Bună ziua, hello” or “Cum eşti?  How are you?”  It’s embarrassing, but I’ve often had to stop myself from taking care of… errr, well… nasal maintenance in public.  I just sometimes forget that people really do notice I’m here.

I’m tempted to think I’m invisible, unnoticed.

There’s a deeper truth here than just remembering not to embarrass yourself in public.

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Are Mormons Christians?

A couple days ago, I was sitting in the car at the Arboretum in Madison, WI, preparing for my talk at the Spring Green Community Church about  our ministry in Romania.  In the midst of my work, two smiling people approached me.  It was only after they were close that I noticed the name tags that clearly identified them as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons).

Well, I never like to miss an opportunity to share the gospel, and I figure it’s better for me to keep a Mormon missionary occupied than to let him talk to others, people who might be persuaded to believe him.  Plus, I have always enjoyed conversations about religion, even when I was an atheist.  So, naturally, I decided my preparations for  Sunday could wait.

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A Lesson from the Sons of Sceva

When I explain to people how I ended up in Romania, I think most people expect me to talk about sensing a calling from God or getting some sort of supernatural guidance in that direction. Instead, I tell them God simply never said, “No.”

We’re given a blanket “yes” in Matthew 28:19-20 and Mark 16:15, where Jesus basically tells us to go everywhere and to everyone with the gospel. It’s a “yes” before we even thought to ask permission to go.

So to stay in one spot requires special direction, a “No” from God.

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this thing is very AWSOME !!!!!!!!!!!!

shark_missionary

By now, I’ve told many people that I’m a missionary in Romania.  I’ve had a lot of different responses.  They range from complete cluelessness to amazement and awe to violent annoyance.

Here in Romania, I seem to find a lot of disinterested or slightly annoyed people.

It took one of my English students to remind me of just how truly amazingly awesome it is to be a missionary.  Radu found me on Facebook chat the other day

“but Ben, you are a missioner ?” he typed.

“Missionary, yes,” was my reply.

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Prayer Letter – May 2013

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