This year might look nothing like you planned. It may be tempting to get used to it or grumble about what has changed. But things aren’t going to stay this way forever. There is so much to look forward to! So as this year comes to a close, let’s look at three ways to continually stir up your faith.
1. Encourage Yourself in God’s Word
We can receive encouragement every day by hearing God’s word. (Romans 10:17) Not just during this season or the next–but every day. In difficult seasons or good, by making a habit of spending time in God’s word, we prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally. It can be a challenge to want to hear what is in the Bible or in prayer at times, but when we are disciplined, then we do this. We know God loves us and always has the best in mind, and we love God too…and want the best to be on our minds as well!
Discipline helps us form and maintain the habit of every day spending time in God’s word and becoming trained in it. It may not always be our first instinct to get ready for the day and then sit quietly with God, or to make that time later in the day. But if we do, we are thankful to notice God is still the best coach and mentor! He brings peace to every situation and certainly encourages us.
2. Spending Time in God’s Presence
Faith is so often stirred by spending regular time in prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and quiet time with God. If you have gotten away from this, you can go right back to it and be strengthened once more. Romans 12:12 says to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” When we make the effort to do this, it helps us be consistent in how we hope and where we place our faith.
Discouraging news can be distracting, but we have a certain hope in Christ that encourages us. Time spent worshipping God and sitting in his presence changes things. You will notice there is so much to praise him and celebrate. He truly is good and he is for you!
3. Remembering God’s Goodness
God is bringing us through this season and any other season to come. It’s just like before! He’s answered our prayers before. We each have a history with him that shows us he is faithful. There are people reading this right now who have prayed about a thing and received the answer then, soon, or years later. God listened and did not forget. Not only that, but he over-delivers. So you can stir up your faith by recalling his goodness too.
All Things Work Together for Our Good
It can be frustrating to wait. Waiting in line, waiting for an answer, waiting for the Internet to speed up. We have become so used to being able to order something with a few clicks on a website, and it’s here in a couple of days. But we know we can wait with a thankful heart. God knows what work needs to be done, and he knows just how to get all the pieces to come together in a wonderful way. Staying focused on God and his goodness might not always decrease the wait, but it will help you feel and remember how close he is to you, how good he is, and stir up your faith.
Have you been looking for a way to stay involved with medical missions trips this year? Perhaps you could consider becoming one of our volunteers, a monthly supporter through donations, or sign up to go on a medical missions trip with us! Go to our website, Mission Partners for Christ, to learn more about how to volunteer or join us. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
Have you considered how you–a current medical missionary–might encourage medical missionaries of the future? The pandemic has not ended our ability to reach people globally and participate in making a difference! We are blessed to be a blessing in many ways over the last year. This mercy and grace is continual.
Current medical missionaries might not yet be going on as many trips, but are still able to communicate with organizations and people in some of those places or help raise funds or donate supplies that support training doctors, staff, and patients in places where there is a lack of basic medical care. They are still able to prepare for a future trip and stay updated on things related to where they are going.
There are other things that current medical missions volunteers can do as well! We would like to share with you three things you can do to encourage medical missionaries of the future.
Be An Advocate
There might be medical residents who have not been a regular part of their faith community since they started to learn and practice, but they dig in and their faith deepens. As this happens, they seek new ways to give back to the world. Or there could be a registered nurse who has just moved to your city and is looking for an extra way to be plugged-in to a new volunteer opportunity. A newly certified medical aide might be unaware of how they can volunteer or participate in medical missions trips. A current medical missions volunteer like you could advocate for global medical care issues.
You can shine a light on the different ways these medical missions volunteers of the future could be a part of the changes they are eager to see. Your advocacy may encourage medical missionaries to seek out organizations where they can volunteer sooner rather than later!
Share Your Testimonies
Your testimonies can be the spark that lights up what is already in the heart of future medical missionaries who are not even grown up yet. Your compassion and dedication shines bright when you share the good things you have seen or heard. Not only that, but the glory of the gospel of Jesus is highlighted.
Your words encourage those who have dreamed of becoming a doctor, nurse, medical aide, counselor, or being part of some kind of medical missions team, and stir up the faith of everyone who hears you. You could blog, ask for permission to share about things that have changed since your last trip in church, or find other creative ways to share your testimonies as part of your regular day. You could do something similar to what we do on our Facebook page, and post live videos sharing good news and prayers.
As medical care professionals and volunteers, there are things you stay updated about on a regular basis that other people might not. You could provide education about some of those things in a way that brings hope and clarity to people who might one day become a medical care professional or volunteer. What you share about malaria in a region where there is a lack of access to basic health care could stay on the heart of a person who is thinking about going back to medical school now that their children are grown up. Or someone who is considering which medical field to go into might be moved to hear about how some in hard-to-reach places are accessing eyecare or dental work. You never know who might benefit from a bit of news that you share.
Mercy and grace are experienced every time there is a miracle in someone’s life. It is certainly a miracle any time someone receives much-needed basic medical care when they previously could not. It is also a miracle when someone decides to become a medical professional because they heard the story of someone like you. Or because they experienced the compassion of someone like you on the job.
Would You Like to Learn More?
Are you interested in learning more about our current upcoming 2023 trip to Guinea? We are leaving February 4, 2023 so there is plenty of time to sign up if you have considered it. If you would like to learn more about Mission Partners for Christ, we’d love to answer your questions. We look forward to hearing from you!
You can be bold in your faith. Yes, you who are reading this right now!
Perhaps you feel like you can never live up to the lives seen in missionaries throughout history or those whose unfailing belief in God has been praised throughout the pages of the Bible. Perhaps you find yourself wondering, “why would God ever choose to use someone like me?”
When you think of medical missionaries or missionary work in general, do you assume they are born very courageous? That they have received an impartation of boldness that others have not? This is not necessarily the case all the time, although God definitely is faithful to answer the prayers of those who ask for His help. So when someone needs more help and asks, they will receive it–especially when they are doing something that reaches people who need to know Jesus! People who do Christian-based service dedicate themselves to serving God on the mission field. They also push through fears and difficulties that may produce changes within them that strengthen their beliefs. But even if you are not a medical missions volunteer yet, this is also true of your life. You can learn to be bold too.
You Have Authority Over Fear
All believers have been given authority over fear. They can choose to walk in the hope of the Lord. Not only when they do their usual activities, but also when they arrive in a new territory. There can be areas of life in that new territory that God plans to use to stretch our faith. Any place we already have a history with Him–or don’t–is fair game. He loves us and also ultimately wants us to be like Him. God can use difficulties and new events in our lives to help us grow in faith, wisdom, experience, and confidence. Having scripture in our hearts can also help.
Scriptures to Encourage You to Be Bold in Your Faith
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 (ESV)
God is faithful to respond to us when we pray. Sometimes He responds even when we do not know what words to pray. He is our deliverer, bringing clarity and peace with Him.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” Romans 8:15 (ESV)
We are able to call upon our heavenly Father when we are in trouble or about anything concerning us. He is our Father–that means something. He is also God…and that means a lot too! With God on our side, we can do all that we are meant to do.
The entire book of Hebrews is dedicated to the topic of faith, and is contains many good words to keep planted in your heart and mind. Any of the books of the New Testament books of the Bible that talk about the travels and trials of the apostles and new disciples of Christ are encouraging as well. We get to read what they went through, to an extent, and see the way they spoke of themselves, one another, God, and more.
You Can Do Difficult Things
It’s true–you can do difficult things. We are created to be amazingly resilient people who face challenges every day. As we build up more of a history with God, we get to see scene by scene that we are capable of so much more than we might have ever thought possible. It’s all through Christ that we do these things, and that is who empowers us. With God behind it all, you can be bold in your faith. If you want to become a medical missions volunteer, know that it is important work to God, and He will help you when this is part of the purpose of your life.
There are many things to consider before joining a non-profit on a medical mission outreach.
There is no question about it; missionaries have one of the best jobs on the planet. There’s so. much to it: travel, adventure, meeting new people, learning new things, and broadening one’s horizons. Deciding to travel abroad on an outreach project as a Christian can be the best experience of your life, but you definitely want to know what you’re getting into and what’s required before taking the leap! Here are some questions to ask a non-profit before you commit to joining them on a mission trip:
1. What’s the location?
It may seem obvious to ask about the location of the medical mission trip you want to go on, but the details can often be overlooked! You will want to know how many clinics will be held during the mission trip. You will also want to know if there will be additional travel involved in getting to the clinic sites. Don’t forget to ask where those sites are, and how many days each clinic will last.
2. Are there missionaries already working there?
Not only is it good to connect with other Christians in the area, but establishing a network of contacts can be extremely helpful Being able to have contact with any missionaries that are already serving where you want to serve prior to traveling can be a great resource in preparing for your trip. It is also a good idea to establish a relationship with them before you arrive. If there are people already there, who can be of assistance, be sure to ask for their names and contact information.
3. What will the weather be like?
Knowing what the weather will be like when you will be traveling to an area can make or break your trip. You definitely want to be prepared with proper clothing in the event you show up during rainy season!
4. What type of travel is involved?
While you can count on a long flight to an overseas medical outreach, you will want to know what type of travel will be involved once you arrive. Make sure to ask how far you will have to travel from the airport, what method you will be traveling, as well as the road conditions if applicable.
5. What will the accommodations be like?
Knowing where you will be staying and what amenities are available are all important things to know. You’ll want to know whether you will have your own room or share, if a bed will be provided, whether there will be electricity and running water, and how far you will be from the outreach site. Additionally, be sure to ask if accommodations will cost extra, as sometimes they aren’t included in the cost of your trip.
6. What language will primarily be spoken?
Knowing what language will primarily be spoken where you are serving can help you prepare for your trip. You will also want to know if translators will be provided and whether there will be an additional cost for them.
7. Are visas required?
Many medical mission outreaches require a visa, and there is often an additional cost for this. Make sure to find out how to obtain this in time for your trip, as well as any costs involved.
8. Are meals provided?
Having to pay for meals can drive the cost of your trip up significantly depending on where you are serving. Be sure to ask before hand whether all meals will be provided in the initial cost of your trip. If not, find out what the average cost of meals are, as well as the availability and average cost for bottled water.
9. Is this a safe area to serve?
Some areas of the world will definitely be more safe than others. Be sure to find out how safe the area you will be serving in will be. If it is a riskier area, find out what measures will be in place to ensure safety (i.e. a security team and/or crowd control).
While this list definitely doesn’t cover all of the questions you could ask before committing to a medical mission outreach, we think it is a good start. What else would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments! And if you want to learn more about our organization and our upcoming trips, be sure to check out our volunteer page.
“And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:19
When you are on the mission field, you will see a lot of people who have less than what you have when it comes to personal belongings. You may even see a lot of poverty depending on the location you are serving. It is easy to see these things and start to believe that the Lord isn’t providing for these people.
You may feel sadness or even guilt if you compare your “blessings” to theirs. But a perspective shift has to happen. First of all, blessings come in more forms than “stuff.” Secondly, You have to believe that if YOU care about the suffering, pain, or needs that you see around you, then God absolutely cares as well!
Take this story about Elijah for example:
“Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, ‘As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.’ Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah: ‘Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there.’ So he did what the Lord had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.” –1 Kings 17:1-7
The Lord took care of His child Elijah. But He didn’t just hand Elijah food and drink in the way we think God would do it. He had him drink out of a brook and be fed by scraps from the birds. God cares for His children in peculiar ways to bring glory to Him through the process!
So how does that story relate to what you may see on missions trips? It shows that God cares about all of His children and provides for their needs in ways that bring Him glory. And sometimes the way He takes care of others is through you and me! It may be peculiar for God to care for those in one country through the work of those from another, but He makes a way! One example is that God sends teams of people like groups from Mission Partners for Christ and our local mission partners to care for the physical needs of those in Ethiopia, Liberia, or other locations. I bet people in those countries would have never imagined God caring for them in that peculiar way!
“Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” –Matthew 6:31-32
Though the Lord provides for our physical needs, the biggest need He promises to provide for is our need of grace. It’s a free gift we can receive and share with others at all times! Just like Elijah had to remind himself during times where he felt alone and hungry, “The ravens are coming!” we get to tell ourselves in times of hopelessness, “Jesus is coming!”
Going on a mission trip is different than becoming a missionary. Missionaries have to learn an entirely new language, integrate themselves into a diverse people group, navigate cultural differences, and more. But when you decide to go on a mission trip — even short-term — you can still take small steps toward immersing yourself in a new culture. It makes the experience much more meaningful the more you decide to learn about a new culture.
To immerse yourself in a new culture, you first have to spend a significant amount of time learning about the culture. There are so many ways to learn through internet searches, books, or talking with others who have been where you are going. Study the history of the place you are visiting! Find out more about the people you will be serving. Ask questions!
If another language is spoken where you are going, download an app like Duolingo and learn the basics before you travel! So many times those you are serving have to fill in the communication gaps, but you should make the effort as well. Learning the language shows the people there that you’re willing to put real work into developing relationships.
Use the language basics to develop friendships. This is a great way to immerse yourself into a culture — do life with people of other cultures and learn from them!
Speaking of friendships, a part of being a good friend is compromising. It’s easy to want things to go your way, but try following their schedule instead! Sometimes that means eating a really late dinner or possibly waking up early with the sunrise. Do things their way instead of trying to bring your culture to them.
Another important way to immerse yourself into a new culture is to drop your assumptions. We all go somewhere with preconceived ideas. Some of that could have come through the early research you’ve done. But be open to the fact that, yes, researching an area you are traveling to is important, but it doesn’t tell you everything! People are unique individuals and can surprise you! Go with the flow and observe real-life, day-to-day happenings upon your arrival and follow those! Live true to yourself while also genuinely honoring and accepting the culture you are visiting.
Observe. Be sincere. Ask for help! Be open!
Disclaimer: This article isn’t saying to pretend to act like you are someone you are not. Don’t pretend to be apart of a culture in a disrespectful way. Approach your new cultural experience in a way that says you know who you are and where you come from but that you want to learn about and experience their culture in a genuine and honest way while you are there.
Tell us all about ways you have immersed yourself into another culture. What was that experience like for you?