You're a Missionary! I'm a What?

I was recently in San Jose, California for a friend’s wedding. During my visit, I met with several other friends who live in the Bay area, and I followed them to their church on Sunday. There happened to be a guest speaker that day, who was preaching about faith and work. She started her sermon by asking the question “what is your current job?” and encouraged the congregation to share with each other about our jobs and our relationship to our work.

Now, if you’re one of the people who have been involved in my life for the past few years, you know that my relationship to my work has been… “it’s complicated.” In just a few short years, I’ve been in multiple jobs of all kinds, anything from social service to clerical work to food service -- pretty much anything under the sun. Like many other 20-somethings, I was trying to figure out where exactly I fit in the professional world. So when I was asked to share about my current job that Sunday, I gleefully told the person sitting next to me, “I’m a missionary teacher, and I’ll be going to Mexico City this fall.” I have never been so excited and passionate about the work I do, and this is just the beginning. Being a missionary teacher means that I get to play two different roles at the same time, as a missionary and as a teacher. I will talk about teaching in my next blog post, but for now, I want to focus on the first part of that phrase “missionary teacher.”

Missionary. That word still feels a bit awkward and unfamiliar when describing myself, like slipping on a new pair of shoes that need to be broken in. It has definitely taken me a long time to fully embrace the idea of being a missionary, partly because I initially didn’t want to raise support. A significant part of my job as a missionary is support raising, which involves numerous appointments with people, sharing about my ministry and inviting people to partner with me through finances and prayer. As I’ve been support raising over the past month, I’ve enjoyed having those conversations with people, especially connecting with people I haven’t seen in a while. Certainly, there are challenges that come with support raising, but I’ve also been able to witness God’s provision in the most amazing ways through participating in this process.

Another important part of being a missionary is keeping in touch with my supporters, which may be my favorite part! :) I have always been an avid fan of good stories -- mainly through songs, theatre, and books -- and what better story is there to tell than the one that God is writing? Sharing ministry updates via newsletters and blog posts allows me to take a step back and marvel at the work that God has done. I am beyond excited to share with you God’s beautiful narrative, and I hope to do His story justice by telling it well.