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New Tribes Mission is now Ethnos360. Learn More. dismiss

Fear and How to Conquer It

POSTED ON Apr 22, 2018 by Bruce Enemark

Not Special nor Radical ...

"’Really? Wow, that's amazing. But I could never do that! Good for you!’ As I sat and talked to the nurse at my recent doctor’s appointment, this was her response to me when I told her we plan to move [overseas] next year for missions work,” shared a student from Ethnos360’s missionary training center.

“Sometimes I think people can get the impression that we are ‘special’ in some way. Those ‘radical’ people who really must have a special call from God. Thrill-seeking adventurers always ready for a challenge and laughing in the face of adversity.

“Well, I'm gonna let you in on a little secret: I'm afraid.”

… But Questioning

... But Questioning

“But lately my biggest fear is myself.

“Here in the training, we hear a lot about attrition, and our trainers try to help us come to terms with some of the reasons why missionaries sometimes throw in the towel. I get fearful that I'm going to get to there, and I'm just going to lose it.

“Am I going to be so culture shocked and stressed that I'm not going to be able to function, not able to leave my apartment, going to spend five hours a day on Facebook, not able to go to the market? And maybe I won't even be able to learn the language, wait, the languages, plural. And what if I actually hate the heat, the desert, the slow and ‘inefficient’ way of life or (dare I say it?) the people?”

Trust and Choose Wisely

“But let me show you what God showed me through other people. One veteran missionary told me, ‘Peace is the possession of adequate resources.’ He knew peace because no matter what life's circumstances are, he was the possessor of God's abundant resources.

“In class a teacher reminded us that God made us sheep. We are not lions or bobcats. Not fierce and strong. We are weak, foolish, stupid, fearful sheep. Sheep who must stay under the shadow of the Shepherd.

“Emailing with my brother, who is in the thick of church planting ministry, he reminded me that in the midst of feeling the asphyxia of culture stress, our aspirations must be traded for choices. And it is conviction, laid down deep in the heart through the Word and the Spirit, that will enable us to make those choices amid difficult circumstances.”

Pray for new missionaries who will be heading out to their fields of ministry. Pray that God would give them His peace, grace and mercy to trust and choose wisely.