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Soon to be a "missionary mom"

Posted by Ruthie Hankins , 14 September 2013 · 1588 views

Faces of people I care about are smiling at me from photos on the refrigerator. Some of these are family, others are former students or dear friends. A lot of them are missionaries I've met over the years. One photo that stands out is of my oldest daughter and her husband taken in front of the Eiffel Tower (the real one in Paris, not in Las Vegas). They fit not only the family category but also the missionary group. Yep, I'm soon to be a "missionary mom".

My daughter grew up along with her two sisters as a missionary kid (MK) in Ecuador. As a first grader she went, when school was in session, to live in the dorm at the MK school 250 miles away from where we lived. By the time she returned to California for college, she already had a lot of experience with roommates, really knew how to pack a suitcase and could find her way through multiple airports in 2 languages. She had also lived in at least 10 different houses as well as the Alliance Dorm in Quito. Her least favorite questions were, "Where are you from?" and "What is your permanent address?"

When she got married and later moved into a house across the street from us, we thought s he'd never want to move again. But the Lord had another plan. He began stirring something in both her husband's and her heart. God reminded them about an international calling each had felt years before. So they planned a trip to Europe to explore missions organizations and ministry opportunities. Their third stop was Paris where, after some complicated travel connections, they fell into bed saying to each other, "Well, it's obvious God doesn't want us in Paris!" However . . . when they woke up the next morning, they both had a sense of peace and of being at home. Maybe it WAS to be Paris after all. After several other confirming experiences, they came home and began applying to return to Paris with the Alliance and were approved to go as apprentices and to leave this winter.

It has been wonderful to watch these two grow in their faith and venture out in ministry. As apprentices they have to raise support for the 2-year commitment. They have been working hard to build relationships and tell their story and then take the bold step to ask people to support them financially. And they have learned how to share with people that though Paris is the "City of Light" it is full of spiritual darkness. Through all this, they are standing firm in the knowledge that God has called them and that He will provide for them. I'm proud of them!

Though my time as an "active" international worker is done, I'm finding a new role as an encourager for new missionaries--my own kids as well as others who are in the preparation process.
  • They need my prayer.
  • They need my financial support.
  • They need encouraging words.
  • They need networking.
  • They need practical help as well--finishing well here so they are free to move there.
  • They may need a shoulder to cry on or a home-cooked meal when the packing to move gets hectic.
  • They need . . . (you fill in the blank)
And I realize that they need more than just what my husband and I can do for them in these ways. It takes a church, a community of friends, brothers and sisters to help them get ready and to send them out.

So, now the questions for you:
  • Do you know any "missionaries in preparation", maybe from your church or district that you can come alongside with help and encouragement?
  • What are some practical ways you can be a part of their future ministry NOW?
  • If you are already doing this, how have you been encouraged or blessed by your involvement?
Feel free to share in the comment space below.

  • Robert Sanford, David Manske and Merilyn Lauffer like this

Kent Copley
Sep 15 2013 08:01 AM

Amen.  I appreciate your thoughts and comments.  The missionaries that we have a strong connection with also have a place on our fridge.  It's a reminder for our family, and guests in our home, the love we have for global workers and getting the Gospel to the ends of the earth.  


We know each and every day people are preparing and staging for global work and we often don't hear the "who" and "where" until they are blessed and sent.  So...is there a way to find out who is in the process, where they are, what the heeds are, etc.?  Just curious.

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Ruthie Hankins
Sep 17 2013 10:52 AM

Kent, you've asked a great question.  I don't want you to think I'm ignoring it; I'm just working on getting you a good answer.  Right now, I'd say get in contact with your district office to find out if there are IW candidates that are working in your district.  I will post more info when I get it.

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Merilyn Lauffer
Sep 20 2013 03:42 PM

International Placement office, Amy Roedding Roeddinga@cmalliance.org is a place to start for the ones closer to departure.  But we have Director for Candidate Dev and NE Reg Developer Doug Bortner.  His office  will know who is in the pipeline bortnerd@cmalliance.org

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