Recently we shared our plans to serve in Ecuador with a couple from our church. One spouse said, “Boy, I’d like to do that!” while the other spouse said, “I don’t think I could do it. I love my life here, and it would be too hard to move and make all those changes.”
What makes selling our house, getting rid of possessions, raising support, and “going” not only possible but (usually) a joy? The very solid conviction that God has planted our hearts in Ecuador. We don’t feel at home here in Oregon anymore, our hearts are already there.
How did this happen? It started as, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could serve in missions someday?” Soon our “if we go” became “when we go.” We visited Ecuador and made our decision. As we began sharing our vision with possible supporters, our contentment to be here changed to an ache to be there.
We know this sounds emotional and subjective. We don’t know how this certainty will change when we are serving in Ecuador. But for now, God has given us a confidence in Him that has endured and grown through our seventeen months of support-raising.
For those of you preparing to go or already serving, does this match your experience? How was your process different? Did your certainty stand the test of time?
When the Journey isn’t Mutual
Although we’ve been remarkably in step on our journey, we know two other HCJB Global missionary couples where the opposite was the case. In both cases, the eager spouse talked the other into a short-term mission trip, “just to try it out.” The reluctant spouse agreed, hoping the other would be jolted back to reality. And (you guessed it) God used the trip to change the reluctant spouse’s heart.
We’re no experts, but we’ll risk some advice: if you can’t imagine going, don’t worry about it. Place your future in God’s hands and tell Him your life is His; trust Him to plant your heart where He wants you.
Similarly, if you are the eager spouse, leave room for God to work. Pray and trust that He will work out His plans for both of you. He will guide and equip you for your journey. Whether you stay or go, He is always your destination.
But…you might try a short-term missions trip….