Things I have learned from missionaries and missions organizations:
1. The amount of courage and trust it takes to leave everything behind is absolutely a beautiful and amazing thing. If only I can let go of the possessions, that aren't even mine to begin with, in the same way that missionaries do I think I would worry a lot less and be more focused on what God is asking me to do.
2. It is a great thing to be able to minister with your husband. I have thought about this a little bit now, and truly, what a blessing it would be to be able to be my husbands side kick (like Batman and Robin...only maybe Robin would be changed to a female...so like Cyclopes and Jean Grey) and to also get paid for being his side kick so I didn't feel like I had to make the choice sometimes between working to pay the bills and working in the same ministry field as my husband. And I would have to say this is especially true for Aaron and I where we have the same passions and same education...what a blessing it would be to work in the same field and both get paid so that our bills were covered!
3. Missionaries sometimes are really brave to eat some of the stuff that they do!
4. I love the world perspective that many of the missionaries I know have. There is just something great about seeing how God is moving in other parts of the world. Even if I am not passionate personally about going to a certain place, it is still amazing to see how God uses people and works.
5. What a great thing many missions organization do when they focus on actually doing "Missionary Care". I wonder why so many churches haven't followed in the footsteps of some of these missions organizations and really set up a team to do Pastoral Care. Speaking as someone who was a Junior High Director for 3 years and then as someone whose husband is now a youth pastor, I think Pastoral Care is a great need.
6. Follow-up is something that is so needed for so many different areas in life, not just after a mission experiance but after so many life experiances. What a great thing it is that Missions organization understand the importance of follow up and process time. Why can't we put more of an importance on process time for all big events in our lives? I think that would be such a helpful thing. Maybe not always practical, but definately helpful.
7. I envy the travelling that many missionaries get to do! I love to TRAVEL!
8. If you are a missionary, you pretty much HAVE to have a passion for what you do. When you are being supported, away from your family, living in a foreign environment, not getting the praise (because you are giving it all to God), there can only be a few things that keep you in your job...Passion, Calling, and a Love for the Lord. Yet, when you live your life based off those things, focused on those things, and because of those things, there is this fulfillment that is undescribeable. What a beautiful thing it would be if everyone was living for a Passion, a Call, and a Love for who God is and what he is doing.
9. Many missionaries, especially younger ones, are REALLY great photographers.
10. The passion for people and for Christ in the lives of many of the missionaries I know is one of the most beautiful and amazing things. I think that almost every missionary could have a very interesting book written about them to tell their story. Talk about having a real adventure.
Here are some of the missionaries that I love and admire (which if any one is looking for some where to spend their money or time, I am sure they would love your support and prayers!)
Josiah Venture Missionaries:
Daniel Johnson: We grew up together. He is a few years younger than me, just got married, and is going to be going back to Czech with his wife Kim in a few months. He runs the Youth Ministry at a Church in Orlava, Czech Republic. This guy has an amazing heart to see the church youth ministry grow. He also loves basketball, has two crazy younger brothers, and has some pretty funny stories if you ever get to sit down and talk with him. Ask him specifically what he means when he says he has a "sweater on his teeth".
Nate Hughes: This guy is a RIOT! Nate currently does a whole bunch of stuff, some of which includes training teams from the States that are in Czech to run English Camps. Then him along with two others on his team travel from camp to camp to camp to camp to camp...(Seriously it is insane how much he has to bump around during the summer). Nate has a freedom in Christ that I hope continues to ALWAYS be contagious. He appreciates art and creativity and good things in life!
THE PATTY'S: This is a family that has one amazing stroy. Dave grew up in what is also my home church. Dave was obedient and God grew an amazing ministry through him...which is now what is called Josiah Venture. Dave and Connie have moved their family and embraced the Czech culture with arms wide open. I actually knowabout them more because Dave's sister and parents go to our church and I mentor his niece, but I also enjoy being able to chat with him quickly whenever they are in Colorado or when I am in Czech.
There are many, many more like Matt and Hailey Kingsley who work for Greater European Mission, Josh and Jen Hamilton who work for IDRAHAJE, Weston and Heather Tripp who work for Campus Crusade, The Guidarians who work in Papua New Guinea and the many who work for OMF International. The list could go on and on and on. But what a great example and blessing these people are.