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Published On: Sat, Dec 3rd, 2016

Anura Leslie Perera: Responding to the Call to Mission Work

If you have a sense of calling to missionary work like Anura Leslie Perera, you may feel uncertain about how to respond to that calling.  For some, perhaps those who have been drawn to mission work since they were children, the challenge be simply about waiting until they were old enough and prepared to begin a missionary life.  For others, the challenge may be about how – or if – they feel able to respond to the call.  There are of course many reasons why you might decide that you cannot obey God’s will, but these must be very carefully examined to make sure that fear and a feeling of inadequacy are not at the root of your reluctance.

Fear

Mission work often is required in places that many people may be reluctant to visit for a short time, let alone for the extended periods that missions require.  These places may be distant from home in physical terms, and may seem even more distant in the sense of being isolated from family, friends, and all that is familiar and comfortable.  They may be dangerous, hot, dusty, and very under-developed.  It is natural, when faced with rising to these challenges, to think that all of these realities can justify putting off responding to God´s call.  However, upon reflection, you may recognize these concerns for what they are, as fears and uncertainties that may be overcome through prayer, support and a willingness to set on a difficult path. Family lives in your heart, friendships can be cultivated at home and away, and isolation can be overcome through the establishment of a community through your mission work.  Be brave, not fearful!

Praying Hands (Betende Hände) by Albrecht Dürer

Praying Hands (Betende Hände) by Albrecht Dürer

Lack of language skills

If you find yourself contemplating a missionary path, you may be overwhelmed by the skills you imagine you don’t have.  And indeed, in some instances you will have a very clear sense of what skills you need to develop – language skills will be the most obvious, and undeniably you will need to gain some mastery of local languages in order to forge a new community through your mission work. This can seem a daunting task.  Especially as we get older, it does become more difficult to learn a new language and this can pose challenges.  Especially with respect to the needs of preaching, the thought of trying to speak about theological issues in a foreign language may seem an almost impossible task.  However, you will surely develop the language skills you need to convey God’s message in simple terms, and the enormity of that message can be conveyed in deeds as well as in words.  Work with local translators to help support you as you learn, and keep an open mind!

If you are not sure how, when or if you should respect to God’s call to serve, be sure to examine whether this is because you may be fearful of change and all the uncertainty that it brings, or a lack of confidence in your ability to gain the basic skills that you will need to pursue your mission.  If God calls, He will be sure that you will be able to respond!

Author: Anwar Hossain

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