What does Frontier Missions really mean?
What do you think when you hear the words ‘frontier missions’?
For me, it was standing in a dusty, dry dessert land with a very long, very ugly dress on, my hair in two braids and a look of terror on my face as people walked around me, staring at this strange white woman with whom no one can communicate.
Sadly, this depressing picture is painted all too often. Why we believe this is the reality of it, I have no idea. Well, I have a few, but let’s try to talk truth instead.
In the last ten weeks, I have learned a lot about what Frontier Missions looks like:
I’m going to have to go as a ‘long-termer’.
Not as a new and shiny foreigner who brings beauty and song for a short while and who’s lack of local understanding is charming. I’m going to go as a learner, someone who has to rely on the locals, trusts people when it’s scary and be willing to love through whatever happens. There will be cultural misunderstandings, I’ll probably have to learn to take myself less seriously and laugh at myself a bit more.
I will leave what I know, learn a language different from my own, and pretend to laugh at jokes I don’t yet understand. I will lay down parts of my own culture that aren’t beautiful and pick up parts of theirs that are. I will remain myself, yet change completely. I will probably seek God more desperately than I ever have before.
Honestly, it looks tough.
There will be challenges that are far beyond my capacity. There are potential situations where I will have to rely fully on the strength and grace of God.
And this is where the challenge begins. Because as a follower of God, and perhaps even more so as a missionary, it’s actually my role to be trusting Him with everything I have, every day. I don’t want to suggest anything too crazy, but there is a slight possibility that – just maybe – if this comes as such a surprise to me, I haven’t been trusting God to the full extent of His worthiness.
And just to dig in a little further, maybe I need to take a step back and realise it’s not at all about me. I have a heavenly father who adores and takes care of me, who would die on a cross for me…
but I’m not His only child.
There are people out there who don’t know Him, who are hurting and broken and are causing one another pain. People whose hearts and minds need to be renewed, who need to realise God is gracious and wants, more than anything, to wipe away their tears and welcome them home. And despite all of my imperfection, He’s asked me to be a part of it. What a humbling thought.
Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable before God – it’s all bigger than you can do alone, you need Him.
Be the one who is willing to go.
To work hard, to humble yourself daily, to hold God’s hand and rely on Him in everything.
And through it all, there will be joy.
There will be celebration and excitement.
God will move in amazing ways, there will be healing, restoration, and
victory. You will reach out to Him and grow like never before.
THIS is frontier missions. THIS is what God is calling us to. To love and strengthen our brothers and sisters; to help them to choose relationship with our Heavenly father.
Thank you Jesus.