What makes someone leave a promising career, family and friends to serve among the unreached people groups? This is the testimony of S., she is a missionary, working in Southeast Asia. Read her testimony bellow:
1. Tell us about your missionary calling
I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of 14, and it didn't take long until my heart burned for Missions. My church, back in Brazil, always welcomes missionaries and I was completely fascinated by their lives and the stories they shared. These missionaries inspired me with their very clear sense of purpose, and that was what I was looking for. I understood that in my heart, I wanted to become a missionary. I understood that the Lord had separated me for something very special, however, I had no idea of how it would happen.
I had three big questions: Where? When? And How?
So I started to pray and share with the church and it’s leadership what God was saying to me about missions. I began reading everything I could about missions and missionaries' lives, attending Mission Conferences and going on short term trips, while challenging the church to get more involved with missionary needs around the world.
In 1999, the Operation Mobilization (OM) Logos II mission ship was docked in the port of Santos, and I had the opportunity to volunteer there for 15 days. During that time the Lord answered one of my questions: now I knew where to start my quest in Missions.
In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics in China, I went on a short-term trip, with a group of 104 people. It was a very special trip, as China burned in my heart, and I thought that would be my mission field.
While we were there, the Lord spoke clearly to me that the time had come to go to the Logos Mission Ship.
And why do I know that? Because before going to China, I said a prayer asking the Lord to confirm in some way whether it was time to quit my job and go to OM missionary training, and then be ready to go to the ship. And the Lord answered that prayer, and so, my question about when to go to the ship was answered. I already knew where and when.
As soon as I returned from a trip, I shared with my pastor. I was very sure and convinced of God's will for my life. So, he and all the spiritual leadership of the church, as well all the church members, fully supported me financially, during the training period at the OM base and throughout my time on the ship, which was 2 years and 7 months. And so, the three big questions were answered, where, when and how.
I left a very good government job, where I had worked for almost 18 years, and went on to the missionary career that was just beginning. Finally, in February 2011 I joined the Logos Hope ship. In fact, the ship was my practical training school where I learned a lot, grew a lot and lived some of the best years of my life, most importantly from there, the Lord guided me to serve Him in Southeast Asia.
2. Why Southeast Asia?
When I got on the ship, I was already praying for four countries, and one of them was this country in Southeast Asia. The focus of my prayer was that the Lord would direct me to one of these countries after my time on the ship, or another country, according to His will.
During my time on the ship, no event or situation directed me to the other countries only to this one, in Asia.
In 2012 the ship's visit to this country ports was confirmed, this made my heart very happy and made me pray even more. And as I prayed, the more my heart burned for this people. Another very important fact was the peaceful and pleasant relationship that I had with the crew who were from this country in Asia. I really enjoyed spending time and talking with them.
However, for technical reasons, that year, the ship had to cancel its visits in some countries, including this one in Asia. It broke my heart and I spent some time without talking to Father about it and without praying for this country.
But the Lord clearly spoke to my heart: "I don't need a ship to send you to Asia, I have my own means and time". It scared me and awoke me to God's sovereignty and will. I asked for forgiveness and continued my journey towards Southeast Asia through prayer, certain that He would send me in His way and time.
Before I finished my time on the ship and returned to Brazil, I already had a direction for my next steps, starting training in a Theology and Missiology Seminar. I returned to Brazil in September 2013 and in August 2014, I was already at the AMIDE Seminar (Missionary Association for the Dissemination of the Gospel), in Brasilia - capital of Brazil, beginning the first steps towards the nation of my heart, Indonesia.
3. What is my mission focus?
I still don't have a defined focus for my missionary efforts. I have been moving in the direction that the Lord has pointed out to me. So far my two focuses of ministry are:
1 - Serve in a Christian School (a private education school with about 1,000 students, in which there are Buddhist, Muslim and Christian students), teaching Art.
2 - Serve at the WNI Training Center in another part of the country, in the following areas: evangelism with students, discipleship and care for students, creation of a theater group and creation of an English conversation group.
4 - How can we pray for you?
1 - For wisdom and discernment to make good use of the time I have here.
2 - For good health and discipline in daily walks.
3 - For more intimacy with the Lord and dedication of more time to prayer and study of the Word.
4 - For language learning and cultural adaptation.
5 - For adaptation to the climate.
6 - For opportunities to make friends and maintain good relationships.
7 - For care and protection of the Lord over Ministry Partners.