I remember missionaries coming to our church when I was growing up. God did something in my heart and I remember thinking, “I wish I could do something like that, but they must be perfect Christians and SUPER spiritual and I’m not.” So, I guess I didn’t feel like He could really use me as a missionary or in the ministry because I knew I wasn’t perfect. It’s like I put them on a pedestal. I did the same with pastors and their wives. Before I married Philip, I knew he was planning on going to a foreign field but it seemed sudden when I realized, “I am a missionary’s wife! But wait a second, I am just normal!” 🙂
When we first started deputation, I was so nervous, anxious, and even scared. Sure, I was excited, but the thought of so many eyes being on our family dampened that excitement a little. I felt like I had to be perfect! If I didn’t say everything just right or didn’t have all the answers then I thought people would think we weren’t “qualified” to be missionaries. I didn’t want to hinder my husband getting to where God had called us!
It has been several months and years now, and the Lord is continually teaching me that the only spectacular thing about us that qualifies us is His Son! We really aren’t worthy to take the Gospel around the world and to be used by Him. None of us are. But that has been and will always be His plan: to use normal people in His church to reach others with the Gospel. To use earthen vessels to carry a glorious message. My husband likes to put it like this, “the church is plan ‘A’ and there is no plan ‘B’.” That doesn’t mean that everyone will be a missionary to a foreign field, but it does mean that God wants to use you and I in whatever context we are in to share Him with others.
It is so easy to think about us and what life will be like for us in Thailand, what our kids will go through, culture shock, what food we will have to eat, etc. But when did this become about us? From the beginning its always been about HIM. Whenever I find my self becoming inward focused, I remember Moses in Exodus 3. God speaks to Him through the burning bush and the conversation is filled with complete good and solid promises that the He is God, He has heard His peoples cry, and He will deliver his people, and he is going to use him, but Moses’ response is so much like ours is most of the time, “Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Ex. 3:11. When did this become about you Moses? And when did the work in Thailand become about the Bassham family? It’s not our ministry, it’s HIS and we just get to play a part in what He is wanting to do in Thailand.
I’m so glad God uses normal people like me. There is nothing special about me or our family. But we serve and love a great and loving God. He will do a work in Thailand and I can’t wait to be a part of it!