First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, that your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve in my spirit in the Good News of his Son, how unceasingly I make mention of you always in my prayers, requesting, if by any means now at last I may be prospered by the will of God to come to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to the end that you may be established; that is, that I with you may be encouraged in you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.

Now I don’t desire to have you unaware, brothers, that I often planned to come to you, and was hindered so far… Romans 1:8-13 (WEB)

Do you know any missionaries? In my personal dictionary, a ‘missionary’ is someone who leaves their home and goes to live, work, and witness in another location. A missionary could be in the Appalachian Mountains or the inner city of Phoenix, AZ or in the Middle East, Africa, or Central America to name a few. God calls and people go. I hope you know some missionaries. They are a blessing in your life! Yes, the missionaries I know are a blessing to me.

I have been on six missionary trips. I was a team member on four and led two trips. It is an opportunity to go away from my home and be a servant and learn so much those who are full-time missionaries, giving of themselves as they build relationships and bear witness to the Good News of Jesus in a very practical, day-to-day ways.

My in-laws are missionaries. Even though (technically) retired, and Dad has gone on to meet Jesus, they are still missionaries. I do not believe you retire from your call. The most important life principle I have learned from missionaries is – you do not get to “pick” where you go, even where you live. God opens doors; puts a love in your heart to serve a group of people and you go! Those who are willing have received amazing blessings by going … many times without knowing!

Paul said that he had a longing to see these people and yet he “was hindered so far”. Why would God prevent Paul (or me) from going to share His words with someone? Timing! The message may not be ready to speak to the heart. There may be more for the messenger to learn! The heart(s) may not be ready for the message. When revival came to Pensacola, I did not even know how hungry I was for God to speak so personally to me. Once I tasted His word, I did not let anything hinder me from going every night. I slept less – ate less– but felt better and was better because I made God my #1 priority!

I am grateful that I am still learning about sacrifice and obedience. God has continued to send missionaries in my life to help me grow. I am in a season now where I am not going in the mission field. But I can still support missionaries with my prayers and offerings. I am humbled to be able to serve them in this way.

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