March - Going
According to "The Ten Modules" a book written by The Traveling Team, missionaries are innovative, low maintenance, steadfast, and persevere with little fellowship. During my time in Western Europe I began to experience these factors. My intimacy with the Lord went deeper due to the sudden change in community around me. I met my teammates face to face for the first time at the airport. This group of strangers was to become my new "church" fellowship for one year. I had been placed on a different team 10 days before I left the U.S., because the country I wanted to go to had some issues. I learned quickly to be innovative and flexible. It's almost like the MTV Show "The Real World", but for missionaries. Seven people picked by God to live in a country to do His will and have their lives read by supporters in newsletters and lifted up by prayer chains. When you live this close to others, your life does get real. After about a month or so the honeymoon is over, and then the real you comes out. As my insecurities came out, I started to realize how judgmental I could be about others' work ethics and character. Thankfully, when our team first met, we decided that it was important that we devoted ourselves to pray daily for unity. God blessed us and produced in us a love for each other, and we became a family. It was our concern for each other, that the nationals picked up on, and drew them to seek our Father in heaven. When students came to know the Lord that year, we gave God all the glory!
You go over with a lot of expectations and how you can do things. The ultimate doing comes from the power of God and Christ through us. Only God could have put that love in us for each other. We had to ask for it and allow him to change us. You not only give up material things when you go overseas, you also give up pride and arrogance. A lot of mission agencies send missionaries home because teams are destroyed by pride and lack of understanding.
When you go overseas, your team is your new fellowship and Satan is ready to do whatever it takes to destroy that. I praise the Lord for his blessings on us that year; I can't wait to go back after mobilizing. I keep in contact with my team routinely. We are spread all over the U.S. and world, and to this day I still carry a picture of my team in my wallet everywhere I go.
by Dean Martinez