By Luiz Sinzker
“So you too, when you have done everything that has been commanded, must say:‘ We are useless servants; we just did our duty ’". (Luke 17:10)
When we talk about living in a country other than our own, with different culture, customs, food and people, it is natural for people to be extremely worried and anxious about how they will adapt. Added to this, we are talking about a newly married couple; two people at the beginning of their walk side by side, in the midst of this different situation. Perhaps you might be thinking: "oh my gosh, how crazy!". But that was not exactly our reaction when we were going to live in Uganda, in East Africa.
Even before we started dating, we both had in our hearts the understanding of God’s call, that specifically was to work in the cross-cultural mission field through our professions: as agronomists, bringing knowledge of techniques and management to extremely poor rural areas, being facilitators of community development. I (Luiz) had understood this calling a long time before my wife (Juliana), but when we started thinking about dating it was already clear to both of us. I remember many times when I asked her about this certainty, to know if she was only following me instead of trying to fulfill the purpose to which God had also called her, and (thank God) her response was positive.
We considered that all the process of preparation was very important to give more emotional stability to us both as individuals and as a couple. We traveled to live in Uganda just a year after our wedding. We spent that first year in training and serving at the home base of our mission in Brazil, also adapting to married life.
We also considered very important the support we had from the Brazilian family from our organization who had already been living in Uganda for four years. Being in touch with them was essential to facilitate this whole process and avoid emotional trauma.
“When you are in the mission field what matters most is not what we know, how much we learn, but how close we walk with the Master and whether we walk in obedience to Him day after day...”
The training was important, the adaptation while we were in Brazil was important, being received by a Brazilian family in Uganda was very important, but what we want to highlight here as the most important thing is none of these. The most important, for developing a work that will be stable and durable in the cross-cultural field is the conviction of God’s calling to your life. The challenges and difficulties are immense, no doubt about this, but the feeling that the work that has been done is done solely and exclusively by obedience to the Father's command is what keeps us firm in the purpose that He himself has placed in our hearts.
So, we had no fear of going as “newlyweds”. Our adaptation in the new country was smooth and the training was very important to help us in all of this, but what really made a difference in our lives was the conviction of God's calling to be where we were and do what we were doing. When you are in the mission field what matters most is not what we know, how much we learn, but how close we walk with the Master and whether we walk in obedience to Him day after day, knowing that we are only doing our duty.
Luiz and Juliana Sinzker