Over the past few months, I have been asking people I know for advice for my upcoming travels. It’s really interesting to hear the wisdom that people share – some is general good advice for international travel and other advice relates specifically to missionary work. Whether the advice was given to me formally in writing or informally in conversations, one prevailing theme that I see is each is permeated with the love of people wishing me a safe & life-changing journey for this next year:
“Always carry hand sanitizer around with you”
-Lorraine Anderson, Pastor of International Community Church, Boston
“As He breaks you, let Him be your strength. The hard times will make you the person you are created to be.”
-Megan Footit, Administrator, Abundant Life Church
“Celebrate, savor, be kind, explore, love, bring peace, and carry hope. Journey well, my friend, into the depths of His heart as you discover more of the extravagant beauty.
-Hannah Messick, friend
“Eat cooked things, unless you want to practice your puking”
-Jeff Snyder, fellow teacher at Arlington High School who traveled to Nepal last year
“You will be exposed on this trip to all kinds of experiences that will help in breaking down walls that have been built to divide us. Embrace these experiences and then bring back what you have learned as an offering to us that remain.
-Dana Baker, Director of Intercultural Ministry, Grace Chapel
“Enter any community with humility, knowing that you don’t have all the answers. Come to learn from the people, to grow, to have your eyes opened that you might see. Daily ask yourself, ‘What can I learn from these people? What can they teach me about the world we live in?’ Only from this posture of humility will God reveal how to manifest his love in that place.”
-Class notes from the Spring Perspectives in World Missions course that I took
“Don’t drink the water!”
-Sung Yun Lee, friend
“The first thing the enemy will go after is the team. Everyone from the outside will be watching how you treat one another. Being united within your team is one of the most crucial things you can do to show the world who Christ is.”
– Brie Shard, great friend
“Capture each moment and let your river of life flow through you and your heart through this journey. Love, happines, and fun.
“When traveling internationally, the most important thing is to listen and observe.”
-Dr. Brian Swann, dentist
“Be bold for the Kingdom and don’t underestimate the power of your words to others as you share the name of Jesus. People’s spirits are hungry for the truth, so when it seems like you are not making a difference, remember that you are.”
“Be ready for people to rub your white skin”
-Grace Gunderson, native Malaysian woman
“Be safe.” “And keep your hair short.”
-Ava and Kole Murawski, 6 and 8 years old
“If you feel like you’re supposed to give something away, do it. When I went to Haiti, a little girl asked me for my shoes. I loved those shoes so much that I didn’t want to part with them. But I never enjoyed wearing them again.”
-Barbara Bowman, friend
“Be ready to get a ton of marriage proposals”
-Whitney Patrick, college rowing teammate
“Enjoy the local cuisine. And have a lot of fun.”
-Joel Travis, friend
“Come alongside and support what God is already doing, rather than thinking that you’re coming to bring all the answers. The Western church has the mentality that they are the providers, but this creates dependency instead of empowerment. Rather, do something to empower what God is already doing, so when you leave you have multiplied their capacity to do ministry.
-Fred Eliott Hart, Pastor of Heart Change Fellowship
“Love, love love.
Love love love love
Love love love love love love.
It’s all we can do. It’s all we can be. It is enough, and His is sufficient for you in every situation.
-Nika Elugardo, friend
“I love your spirit and who you are and are becoming – a treasure unfolding for a mom to see.”
“What a great adventure you are headed out on. Go and change the world one person at a time.”
I love you guys!!! To the nations I go…