Mom on a Mission

So, I’m not a mom…surprise! I often times wonder what it would be like to be a mom and hopefully someday I will know, but until then, I will just continue to creepily watch my “mom” friends and family. Okay so…I know what it is like to be single and in missions (insert a few wonderfully awkward pauses, conversations and questions….here) I know how to “do missions” while being single, BUT I know very, very little about how the moms thrive and survive. I am surrounded by many wonderful missionary families here in Taiwan and they have set before me incredible examples of entire families investing into a nation for the sake of the Kingdom. (That was a long, detailed sentence…breathe) Very cool.

More specifically, I have been pretty amazed by one of my close friends here as she tenderly, patiently and intentionally disciples and mothers her children. Her name is Grace. Grace is an incredible mother, discipler, friend, encourager…I honestly could go on and on about her, but I’ll stop myself here:)   I asked Grace if she would be willing to write a little excerpt for me for this blog because as a single in missions, I write from a bit of a  limited perspective. My heart is that people would see another side of missions and be encouraged, challenged and blessed. I hope you feel encouraged as you read how God is moving in Grace’s life as she lives out the truth and life of Gospel here in Taiwan!

So everyone, meet Grace and read what she has to say about being a mom on the mission field!

When I was around 16 or 17 years of age, I became sure of what God was
calling me to do with my life. It was to be a missionary. At this
point, I had it all painted perfectly in my mind what it would look
like, or so I thought. I had a plan and that plan was to be hard-core.
Out on the streets, doing radical things, from sun-up to sun-down.
Within a couple of years, something happened that I wasn’t quite
expecting. It was something great. I met the “man of my dreams” who
also wanted to be a missionary overseas. I was just blown away at God’s
provision and timing.
At 22 years of age, we got married and moved to
Taiwan as missionaries. The first few years were great. We were heavily
involved in teaching English at our local coffee shop and busy building
those friendships outside the English classes as we got to tell them
about our relationship with Jesus and why we love Him so much. We were
on a baseball team at the local University. It was an open door to
evangelize and share the Gospel with the University students. Yes, I
was the only girl on the team — so much fun! I was involved in the
community. I was also staffing the School of Biblical Studies and was
busy with that as well and loved every second of every day.
Then everything changed. I got pregnant and had my beautiful daughter, Faith!
As much as a blessing my daughter was, it changed the way that I would
live as a missionary. I couldn’t be as “hard-core” as I once wished to
be. I was going to have diapers to change, to feed my baby every few
hours, give her much-needed nap times (and squeeze a few in for myself), etc. but I also very well
knew that just because I was a mom, it didn’t mean I couldn’t still
live a life of a missionary here in Taiwan. I was just going to have to
learn how to adjust to being a missionary and a mom. Praise the Lord, I
did learn to adjust.
To be honest, in the beginning (and still at times today), there were
times of hardship. Times where I would be watching the other
missionaries here do things that I want to be doing. Going with their
local friends down into Taipei for the day, for example. Taiwan is a
culture where to build a close relationship with people, you have to
spend time with them and a lot of it. With kids, it’s not as easy as it
sounds. Because of that, the word “failure” has come to mind more than
once or twice. The thought of just giving up because I am not making a
difference has come to mind, too. (Sorry, just being honest and
transparent.) Life as a missionary looks different with kids but God has
really shown me that actually, and obviously, me being a mom on the
mission field was part of HIS plan and He still wants and is going to
use me here in Taiwan, regardless of me being a mom.
My daughter is now three and I also now have a one-year old son, too, and
I love how God lavishes me with His goodness. You want to know how it
is being a mom on the mission-field? A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. God allows me to
spend all my time with two of my most favorite people (my kids) while I
do what He tells me to do. My ministries look a little different but
they are no less important than what I was doing before. I always say
that the best evangelism tools are your children. They are magnets for
people who usually would not come up and talk to you. A person who
wants a picture with my kids gets a little more than they asked for as
I can tell them I am here in Taiwan because of Jesus You should see the
look on their faces! The parks are a great place, I have found, for
sharing with the local moms. I see the same moms time and time again,
so that is another great way to evangelize. So many doors open up as I
stick out like a sore thumb while I push my double-wide stroller
carrying my two white-faced children around the narrow streets of
Taiwan.
And yes, even when I am at home, God has given me a way to
still pour out into the people here in Taiwan. A major way that I have
acclimated to a new way of doing ministry while being a “full-time”
mother of two is that he has landed “pastoral ministry” right on my lap
without even asking for it. People always know I am home and available
and my home has become a “retreat center” (so people call it) for many.
{Anna interjecting here: YES, this is so true…it is very, VERY hard to leave
their home…its a trap…a very good trap though}

So I may not be standing on the street corners proclaiming the Good
News, and I may not be able to spend hours upon hours with the local
Taiwanese, but I am still able to love them as I live my life, sharing
with them my story of why I am here and letting them see me live my
life in a way that glorifies God, whether it be playing with my kids at
the park or buying some broccoli for dinner. I have found that
sometimes, as missionaries, the people that we overlook the most are
the people living right next to us, because we are rarely home to get
to know them.
As a mom, I have gotten to know some of my neighbors as I
am forced to stay close to home. When God called me to be a missionary
when I was a teenager, He was not unaware that I would one day be a
mother of two. He knew that and added that into the equation. I
wouldn’t trade being a missionary mom for the world. I consider myself
blessed.
Check out Grace’s journey as she blogs about it all:

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