Every Christian is called to do something—to preach, to teach, to serve or to go. For that reason, 538 college missionaries from all across the state of Texas—including me—have answered the call this year to “Go Now.”
I recently made my way to Dallas Baptist University for Go Now Missions orientation, where I not only was taught, but also tested. There was a lesson in everything we did, and with each lesson, we moved one step closer to being ready to be sent out to our mission fields all across the world.
Probably one of the first lessons I was taught came from Brenda Sanders with Texas Baptists’ Go Now Missions: “It’s not bad. It’s different!” This became not only my motto, but the rest of the student missionaries’ mottos throughout the weekend, as we did things such as bathing in a bucket, eating only rice (or rice and beans), and having to “pay” to go to the restroom. Some trials generated cries: “We won’t have to do this where we’re going!” But through these tests, God revealed something different each and every one of us needed to work on. If nothing else, we realized how much more flexible we needed to be.
I also learned a huge lesson about culture. We were taught to learn the language of the people where we are going to minister, even if we were going somewhere in America, like I am. Every place has a different language. Even if it’s not a spoken language, there’s a cultural language. Out of respect and love for the people we are going to, we need to speak their language. No matter if it’s spoken or cultural, we must humble ourselves.
I learned to be diligent in checking on my footholds and my strongholds. We heard how a foothold is something small, something easily destroyed, and that a stronghold is huge, and takes so much more to destroy. Satan uses the footholds in your life to turn them into strongholds, and these footholds can be any small temptation that you have in your life. We were told to pray for God to reveal the footholds before they grow into strongholds.
Most importantly, we learned to repack our suitcase. We all have baggage. Doubts, worry, sin, fear and lack of support weigh us down daily. However, God calls us to replace our burdens, and to repack our suitcase with promises and commands from the Bible. God tells us to leave our worries with him. The doubts we have about ourselves aren’t important, as we are God’s workmanship. Christ tells us he has blotted out our sins, and he tells us to not be afraid for he is with us always. He tells us if we leave our family behind to follow him, we will receive 100 times the family we have on Earth. We learned that we must be diligent in checking our suitcases because sometimes, those burdens can find their way back in, and when they do, we must repack again.
Rachel Lilley, a student at Howard Payne University, will serve this summer with Go Now Missions in Montana.