I've been reflecting on our family's sixteen years of service as missionaries in Mexico. The emotional rollercoasters, the physical strain and the stretched cultural barriers have been a little overwhelming to say the least. Overwhelming and at the same time...life-changing. I wanted to write something about missions this month in an effort to begin digesting those sixteen life-changing years. Taken all at once, those years are difficult to articulate. In our social media driven world, refrigerator magnet platitudes and "Top 8" lists abound. I didn't want to add another "Ten Things You Didn't Know about Missionaries" or "Top 10 Ways to Serve Foreign Missions at Home". What I feel about our family's missionary service is still too personal to try to cram it into a quick, public blog post. So instead, I think I'll start with something less daunting - a personal letter to me. Not even a letter, per se, but a few post-it notes. I think post-it notes rank as one of mankind's greatest achievements. I use them all the time (ask my family!). My post-it notes are for the eager and enthusiastic young man who, sixteen years ago, felt prompted by God to move his family to Mexico to live and serve as a missionary. Here's what I would write to me:
- God will love you whether you go or not. (on the bathroom mirror)
- God is already in Mexico; you're not bringing Him with you. (in the console of my car)
- Forget everything you know about "return on investment"; God thinks differently about that than you. (on the computer keyboard)
- Wife and family first; ministry second. (beside my cell phone charger - yes, I had one back then! Granted, it was a little bigger than the one I use today.)
- You're strong but you can't do this alone. Read this! (on top of my Bible)
What about you? If you could send a post-it note back in time to yourself what would it say?
Kina, Rodney and Genesis about 17 years ago