Some missionaries will tell you that they felt God called them to Africa. But it was different for me. I was just three years old when my family moved from Scotland to Rhodesia, and my Scottish roots were only preserved through the influence of my family. For me, Africa was home.
So when God began preparing me to enter missions, the idea of serving in Africa wasn’t nearly as extraordinary and adventurous as it seems to those who have grown up in the United States. I knew all too well the challenges and struggles we would face as missionaries in Africa. And I knew working there would stretch me, particularly because of the places MAF serves.
My premonitions proved correct as our first assignment was to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We were there just 12 days before we were forced to evacuate during a coup d’etat and never returned. You can try to prepare yourself mentally for living in a place that will challenge you, but you can never prepare yourself for what it will be like to leave all your possessions behind, never to see them again. No photographs, no keepsakes.
Similar situations have been the reality for many of our MAF missionaries over the years. But never have such events made us question our resolve to help people living in remote areas of the world.
In Joshua 22:5, God told Joshua to “love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
No matter what part of the world God has placed us in, be it a remote area of Africa or a nice suburban neighborhood, our call as committed Christians remains the same. We must hold fast to Him and serve Him with all our heart and soul.