The Lord Jesus Christ let the commandment to the Christians to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation. In the course of time, there were a few who dedicated their lives to this awesome mission. The hardships that are connected to mission stop many to dedicate their lives for the spreading of the Gospel. Those who dedicate it are not spared of these hardships that they must overcome. One of the hardship that each missionary has to overcome is the longing for family, for the dear ones, for home and for country. In this article I will share some practical advice for the workers of the Gospel that are in the mission field far away from their country.
Study the Bible systematically
Through His Word God comforts us and encourages our hearts in patience, as it is written in Romans 15:4:
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)(NASB)
The systematic studing of the Bible will stregthen your spiritual condition and as it is written, will bring you perseverance and encouragement. I know many missionaries who appreciated the inductive Bible study materials very much, because through them they could study the Scriptures efficiently and in this way they received encouragement and persevered in patience while they were on the mission field.
Imply in the lives of the native people
You came in mission particularly to share the Gospel and to serve the native people. Try to get to know these people closer, understand what their needs are and serve according to the needs. As you dedicate yourself to people, you become less concerned of your own person and needs that intensify this longing. The Lord Jesus said:
It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)(NASB)
Examine the context of the mission
Make from your presence in the mission place a process of examination, to understand how you can better share the Word of God and make people understand the message of the Gospel. This Apostle Paul was doing this as he said, when he was talking to the Athenians in Aeropagus:
So Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects. ”For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, ‘TO AN UNKNOWN GOD ‘ Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. (Acts 17:22–23)(NASB)
I always advise missionaries to examine the context of the nation to whom they preach the Gospel and in this way, to make up instructions for other misssionaries that will come to continue mission in that country. The examination itself is an interesting process and it makes you discover very interesting and useful things, that will show you lately the methods and the way how to work efficiently in a mission trip, to help people understand the massage of salvation.
Don’t wait for immediate results
After you have been for a longer time in a country, after you have done your utmost and you don’t see the results that you have been waiting for when you went from home, you start to feel desperate and doubtful regarding the efficiency of your mission. Don’t be overwelmed by this thought, because, if you put it together with the homesickness, it will paralyse you totally. The results don’t always have dealings with us. Our duty is to share the Gospel to the people and we have to do this the best way we can. God is the One who attracts people to Him and makes them His children. Otherwise, when the ministry has a great success is important to remain with moderate thoughts about us. Apostle Paul wrote so to the Corinthians that confer on people greater merits than they deserve.
What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:5–9)(NASB)
All advice that I wrote above will not remove the homesickness. It is necessary to have patience and to overcome this longing. If you do not have a correct attitude towards it, the homesickness can paralyse you in such a way, that you will not be able to rejoice of mission, of your realationship with God or even of those who are at home when you come back. Don’t let you be paralysed, but study the Scriptures, imply in native people’s lives, examine the context of the mission and don’t wait for immediate results.
Translated by Djugostran Felicia