As we travel from church to church, we are often asked how one can pray for us. Thinking about that question, I began to write this article and deleted it several times. Deputation is not something to complain about. In fact, this blog was on how great it is: ( 10 Reason why deputation is great) . The more I thought about it, the more I realized that prayer requests do not have to be a complaint list. My Pastor recently wrote an article on how to pray for Missionaries , and in it he said the following: ” I am convinced that the reason we so often are stumbling along in our lives and ministries is because we have failed to ask God”. I decided that I would start to pray for the following areas in my own life and ask if you would also pray with me.
- My personal Walk with Christ – You may be shocked at this one, we are missionaries, we’ve surrendered our lives to God, why would we need prayer to stay close to Him? I personally was taken back with how difficult this would be when we first started deputation, but the excuses seemed readily available.
- Change of routine: The devil tried to use late nights to keep me from doing my devotions in the morning as was custom to me.
- Change of location: I was surprised at how my same couch, computer, and my cup filled with coffee had become routine to me. Waking up somewhere different , it was surprisingly hard to get into a routine.
- Not attending the same church under the same preacher limited hearing foundational messages that build and strengthen Christian growth. (This is not to say that I do not hear good preaching as we travel, but the messages do not build upon one another and, most of the time, the topic is missions. Missions is a great topic but just one of many that I could grow in).
- Traveling Mercies – This goes without being stated, but I am not sure how much you realize the missionary family usually travels.
- This year alone we have traveled over 75,000 miles
- We have been in 35 different states.
- We have dodged deer, dogs, cats, possums and other cars.
- We have driven countless times through the night in rain, sleet, fog, snow and even in heavy wind (thanks to Kansas).
- Health and Energy. – Everyone desires prayer for this, but I have found that I really desire it now that we are on the road full-time.
- We are now exposed to the stomach bug in Georgia, the virus in South Carolina, Strep in Alabama and pink eye in Kentucky.
- Being sick anywhere other than your home and in your bed makes sickness seem even worse.
- Late nights and crazy schedules often zap our energy.
- Delicious but often unhealthy fast food and missions conference food added with hours of sitting in the car are also an energy zappers.
- A Strong Family Unit
- Usually when a man is under job-related stress, he is at his office and can leave that stress there. The missionary has no office; most often stress comes with the family right beside him.
- Tons of time together, most of the time, is a good thing. However, TOO much time with no break makes you long for the moments when absence grows the heart fonder. Not to mention that a majority of that time is spent crammed in a vehicle.
- Pray that the wife will be an encourager to her husband. My prayer is to be my husbands greatest cheerleader as my friend wrote about in Grab your Pom Poms.
- There is also little alone time for the husband and wife. We not only share a car for hours at a time with our kids but also often-times a hotel room.
- Us to be Good stewards of God’s money
- There are two extremes of finances in the deputation process.
- The first being when a missionary family start deputation, they are B.R.O.K.E. living by faith. It is an awesome experience to watch God provide, but we do need prayer that we would budget well and work hard to financially make it.
- The other extreme is when we are almost fully supported plus receiving love offerings. We aren’t broke in this situation but we still need to be good stewards of our money. We need to live as frugally as possible so we can save for the future expenses of moving to the mission field.
- Education for the Children – This may be one you don’t think about, but, for the mom, this is probably one of my biggest burdens and prayer request during deputation. Their education is very important, and I don’t want to take the responsibility lightly. Pray we can overcome some of these obstacles.
- Consistent place and schedule are impossible: We do school in the car, hotel rooms, prophet chambers, churches, grandparent’s house and anywhere in between.
- Often school is done in the car making it impossible for me to help as much as I need to.
- It is difficult to travel with needed learning supplies: microscopes, poster board, paint etc..
- We are often asked to do other things during “school hours.” No complaints here, especially from the kids, but it still puts their learning on hold for the day. When you have week after week of conferences it can seem to put their learning on hold for months.
- Home school co-ops or tutoring programs are hard to be involved in because we can’t faithfully attend.
- Whether packing a duffel bag, suit case, or crate, shipping all your earth’s possessions overseas is complicated. I don’t have a love/ hate relationship with duffel bags… I just simply hate them. 🙂
- There are many loose ends that need to be taken care of: passports, visas, sale of house and vehicles etc…
8. Grace as we prepare to leave
- Leaving all that is familiar: family, friends, church, house, language, etc. and moving to the unknown and unfamiliar can be hard for a woman. The neat thing about deputation is it gives us around a two-year time period to prepare our hearts for this. I sense His grace more and more the closer we get to moving because I know I have friends and family praying for me.
9. His Name to be Glorified. – Last but not least, pray that my time on deputation will bring honor to Him. I want to serve Him and bring glory to Him in all that I do and say. I do not want to use any excuse on the deputation trail that would keep me from serving and honoring Him with my whole life.