“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose” – Jim Elliot
During deputation I get asked many different questions. In some conversations people do not understand why I want to become a missionary. Many do not understand why I would want to Brazil. The questions that they ask all revolve around, “Is it worth the cost?” The questioning typically begin with: “What will you miss most?” or “What are you going to give up?” I normally try to answer their questions by getting at the main question of “Is it worth the cost?”
The short answer is yes, the beginning quote by Jim Elliott and the ending quote by Nate Saint quote summarize my answer.
I believe it is worth the cost because I can think of only a few things that I will miss but there is nothing in the following list that I would not joyfully give up to follow Christ. Please note that this list is not in any particular order.
Privacy: I have experienced that missionary privacy is a figment of my imagination. Individuals believe that they are able to demand and expect an answer to any personal or financial question that they ask. Not only do they believe that I should give a complete answer they also feel like it is their right give their two cents. Financial questions about how much I will need to raise and for what the money will be used are common. Their two cents are normally that they are surprised at how little or extravagant the amount is. Personal questions about why I am single or who I am going to marry are also very common. Most people’s two cents include when and who I should marry.
In-N-Out: In-N-Out is a West Coast staple and the best of fast food hamburgers. I will miss a double-double animal style burger and well done fries.
In-N-Out: Double Double Animal Style
Family: I love my immediate family very much. We had a wonderful family picture time earlier this year and it may be the last time that we are together in the future. This is due to my sister and brother-in-law being missionaries to Australia and the possibility that we may never have overlapping furloughs in the future.
Me, Joy (sister), Ryan (brother-in-law), Ellen (mom), Roland (dad)
I also love my extended family. I love many of the traditions with both sides of my family over the years. Some traditions are typical (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, ect.) and some of our traditions are unique to us. One of the traditions that I will miss is tree cutting. This normally marked the beginning of the Christmas season when I was growing up. As the years have passed we have tried to keep the tradition alive. I will miss participating in many of these traditions in the future.
Friends: I have many friends all over the US. It is a blessing to be able to call up friends and spend time with them. Kurtis is a friend from seminary. We reconnected 5 years ago at a random meeting while I visited a church in Hickory, NC. A week ago I got to visit my friend in Hickory again. We have enjoyed sweet fellowship over the years.
Me and Kurtis
Family and friends are two of the things that I really prize and they will be the most difficult to give up. However painful giving up family and friends will be this does not even begin to compare to what I may gain in following Christ.
New Family: The bible teaches that we are a new creation and are adopted into Christ’s family when we repent. Matthew 12:50 says that “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” I am looking forward to spending time with the family of Christ in Brazil.
New Friends: In every new place that I go I meet new friends. There is a bond that is found only in those who know Christ as LORD and Savior. 1 John 1:8 says “that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.” I am looking forward to having fellowship with new friends in Brazil.
Christ is Better: The entire book of Hebrews is a reminder that following and serving Christ is better than going back to life without Christ. I am in complete agreement with with the book of Hebrews. Following and serving Christ is better than anything else. Hebrews 10:12-13 says “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.” Serving the one who has the ability to pay for all sins and who will subdue all of his enemies is worth giving up everything.
“People who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives … and when the bubble has burst, they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for many years they have wasted.” – Nate Saint