I was a little girl in Girls in Action, a mission organization in the Southern Baptist Convention. Each Sunday night that we gathered, we would read over the prayer calendar. The prayer calendar included the names and countries of missionaries serving and we prayed for them on their birthdays. The calendar would also share how they were serving on the field.....you know, summed up in one or 2 words.
Just throwing this out there, but they are no longer able to post where most missionaries are serving nor are they able to share their names because of the safety of where they serve....times have changed!
Oh, how they have changed! I recall as a little girl thinking about the title "home evangelism" after a lady's name. Years later, working at a missions camp, I asked the missionary there. She told me it is basically meant that the lady was at home caring for the family, on the field. I was a bit surprised. That sounded, well, kinda lame to me. Go to the mission field, call yourself a missionary and stay home taking care of your kiddos. People do that in the United States all of the time! Geez, my mom did that and no one gave her a special title or had her on a prayer calendar (maybe they should have though, bless her heart!)
I thought very little of how just basic needs were cared for in a different country. There is no pizza delivery or bakery just around the corner. No, you can not stop in at the laundry mat if your washing machine breaks. Nor are you loading dirty dishes into a machine to wash them.
My primary role is that of home evangelism and some days, I am horrible at it!! We run out of toilet paper. I have no idea what is for dinner. I make walking to the street to purchase a "pate" sound like a celebration just because, I am pretty sure there are laws about serving rice and potatoes together and calling it a meal. To even purchase a deep fried something or other off of the street, you need the correct currency (and guts of steal!) and well, you are going to have to find your dad to get some money.
I spend many hours of my day in our home. Our Billy says, I just like telling people what to do! I am sure it feels like that since he is my kid! I start the day coaching good choices and questioning poor ones. Currently, I am teaching 3rd grade, 6th grade and 8th grade. I find that I am the children's primary Bible teacher and that alone is scary to me! They are learning about a relationship with Christ from us, their parents with few other adults filling in those gaps for us. Seeing that they spent most of their day with me, the pressure is on! I know the mess that I am, hopefully this means that they understand GRACE...cause I require A LOT!
I could clean up after them but we are attempting to raise adults so much of day is, "Dolly, there is batter on the counter from the muffins you made." "We do not leave our dirty tissues on the table." "Please don't interrupt your sister while she is quietly doing school work (this precious second.)"
Yes, home evangelism is a lot like my stay-at-home-mom life in the states in that aspect expect, people all around me are speaking a language I do not yet understand. I have offended people and was not even aware of it due to the different cultural rules. My best friends, my family, our support systems, they live in another country. It gets lonely...for all of us! I have to rely on others to do "favors" for me....like my poor sister wrapping Christmas gifts and distributing them for us. I have to ask people I just met if they will mail packages for me back to the states. Girls, even getting the famine hygiene products you like best....is humbling yourself to ask your girlfriend to send you some as she so sweetly disguised the wrapping. Getting in the car to do anyway requires faith. Making a phone call, so hard when you can not see their face or gestures.
I am thankful the Lord finally broke my heart to be so busy for Him that I would miss out on the most important mission field I will ever be a part of....regardless of what country He parks Our Family Circus.