In our last post, we looked at some things veteran missionary wives were glad they did or learned before they left for the field! Now, on the other side of the coin, we’ll look at some things these missionaries wish the would have done before leaving for the field!
1. I wish I would have…Learned to study more and be more disciplined to read ministry books!
Reading and studying might not seem like the most “lady like” activity, but the truth is that we are all a part of the Great Commission. We are all to be helping further the gospel in all nations and making disciples of other ladies! Reading and learning both the Bible and other ministry books is a huge part of learning to do this!
Even reading a book for 10 or 15 minutes a day, or every other day, doesn’t sound like much, but over time, you can learn a lot! I wish I had built this discipline into my life as a younger lady, and before I had left for the mission field!
2. I wish I would have…known how to prepare lessons and had some lessons ready ahead of time!
Following up on the previous point, knowing how to take material and information I read and learn, from the Bible and ministry books, was something I wish I had learned to do! In a lot of countries, there are not a lot of ministry books or lessons available, and you may have to make all the curriculum from scratch, and what you have learned thus far!
Preparing lessons in the States before leaving for the field would have been a huge help before leaving for the field! Learning how to prepare and teach lessons from information I read on my own, and learned on my own, would be something I wish I had done before heading out to the field.
3. I wish I had…known more about discipleship.
Discipleship is the priority ministry of the church. On the Be, Do, Serve, Train, pyramid, Train is at the top for a reason. Discipleship and reproducing yourself in others is our top ministry (not, of course, discrediting a wife’s ministry between her and the Lord, or to her husband, children, and house). Investing your life in someone else may sound easy on paper, and while it is extremely rewarding, it does come with some difficult moments.
While there is no guaranteed formula to successfully disciple others, there are some common denominators in working with and discipling others. To have had some experience pouring my life into another young lady before landing on the field would be great.
4. I wish I had…learned how to cook, stock a pantry, and plan for visitors and groups while I was in training.
Cooking for a husband and some children is one thing. Cooking for 20 to 30 visitors is a whole different story. In your head, it’s easy to think, “Well, I can cook for 3 people, so cooking for 30 shouldn’t be too hard. Just do 10 times more of everything, and it’ll be easy.” It sounds easy, but if only it were that easy! (Hint- it isn’t!)
Even if I had cooked for only 10-15 people, it would still have been a huge help to me learning to cook for big groups on the field!
5.I Wish that I would have…studied my Bible more. I wish that I had been discipled before going to the field.
The only thing that can truly make a difference in someone’s life is the Word of God. The Bible is our only weapon in seeing souls saved and lives changed! Soldiers go through rigorous training to know how to use their weapons so they can be prepared for war time. There’s no reason we shouldn’t know how to use our Sword even better! I wish I had spent more time learning and reading the Bible on my own before leaving for the field.
And, as alluded to earlier, I wish I had been discipled more before leaving for the field. We already talked about the extreme importance and value of true discipleship, and one of the best ways to learn how to disciple is to be discipled yourself!
Thankfully, I was discipled a fair amount before heading to the field, so I knew what a discipleship relationship looked like, but there is no such thing as being “over discipled.” The disciples spent years with Jesus, on a daily basis before doing ministry on their own. I would encourage any young lady to get discipled as much as possible before leaving for the field, or starting ministry of their own.
6.I wish I had…known more about other religions and cults so I could have biblical responses ready.
Obviously, the best way to have biblical responses ready is to study and read the Bible! However, after knowing the Bible better, I wish I had known more about the different cults and religions we would encounter on the field.
Not everyone on the field is an independent baptist, surprise, surprise! There are people who don’t believe God exists at all, and people who believe in (literally) millions of Gods! You have to know how to handle and deal with them each individually, based on where they are in life, and what they believe. Even knowing the basics of the religions/cults we encounter on the field would have been a help to our current ministry!
In summary, I think we can safely conclude that we all have areas of our lives we could be working on. I pray this encourages you to take a step and start learning or perfecting something you have been putting off for “later”. I hope these insights into the lives of veteran missionary wives has been a blessing to you!