(Written back in December, 2016–haven’t gotten around to sharing until now.)
When my friend who heads up the Congo Frontline Missions newsletter begged me to write an article about my experiences in Africa, I really didn’t know what to do.
“I don’t know what to write about, Mom,” I wailed on the phone in my daily chat with her (Africa has made me forever grateful for technology). “What would I say? I love Africa, I’m doing tons of tourism and seeing incredible places, and don’t even feel like I’m doing missionary work!”
“Just share from your heart,” my mom encouraged.
So, I decided that I would. Coming to Africa has been an amazing experience for me, but I find it hard to write about because sometimes I feel that my contribution to the mission work has been very minimal and indirect. I am teaching Shiloh (Mosier’s oldest, who is 6) first grade, and helping with some of the bookkeeping and office organization. On top of that, I’m currently on the vacation of a lifetime, traveling with my host family through Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania during a time of political unrest in Congo. My host family is visiting other mission projects and has attended leadership training at the East Central African Division, but my main work has been continuing Shiloh’s education and helping Tammy around the house.
(Picture: Me and the kiddos: Caleb , Shiloh , and Anna . Talitha [9 mo.] must have been sleeping.)
I’ve been staying in nice hotels, eating amazing food, seeing the most amazing sights and experiencing the most amazing experiences. I’ve touched baby elephants at the Elephant Orphanage and fed giraffes at the Giraffe Center in Kenya, seen lions and even a leopard at the Ruaha Game Park in Tanzania, and swam and snorkeled in the beautiful Lake Malawi.
To be honest, I’ve struggled a lot with feeling that I’m not really a genuine missionary. I’m not going out to unreached villages doing medical missionary work, like the Fishers and their student missionaries are. I’m not teaching English as a Second Language to the people of Congo and Tanzania, like another one of Fisher’s student missionaries is doing. I’m not foraging over washed-out jungle roads to drill wells and bring clean, pure water to the Congolese, as Rittenours are doing. I’m not even directly involved in the work of training new Adventists, solidifying their understanding of biblical truth, as my host family (the Mosiers) does.
“Let not your thought or your words be, ‘O that I had a larger work! O that I were in this or that position!’ Do your duty where you are. Make the best investments possible with your entrusted gift in the very place where your work will count the most before God…. Be not envious of the talents of others, for that will not increase your ability to do a good or a great work. Use your gift in meekness, in humility, in trusting faith, and wait till the day of reckoning, and you will have no cause for grief or shame….like vessels of various dimensions we are placed in the house of the Lord; but it is not expected that the smaller vessels will contain all that the larger ones hold. All that is required is that the vessel shall be full and hold according to its ability. If you perform faithfully the duties in your path you will be an acceptable servant, an honored vessel.” That I May Know Him, p. 329.
(Picture: A wild lion spotted at the Ruaha game park and photographed from the open truck bed just 20 feet away.)
Oh, what an encouragement. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord was the One who opened the doors to bring me to Africa. I have to trust, then, that the work He has set before me here, however insignificant and unimportant it might seem, is important in His eyes. Truly, someone has to do the indirect missionary work in order that others can be freed up to do the direct missionary work.
(Picture: The beautiful Lake Malawi. One of the nicest beaches I’ve ever been to!)
Dear readers, wherever you are, whatever seemingly lowly or elevated position might be yours, you are doing an important work for the Lord. Some of you might be working for Him in America. Some may be working in foreign mission fields. But wherever the Lord has you, I encourage you to “be faithful in that which is least.” You may never know till heaven how great your seemingly small contributions are.