I have been looking forward to writing a special letter of appreciation to you for awhile. Often we talk here about the joys and challenges of living life and serving in ministry overseas, but I have often thought of you faithful moms who are called to live and serve in my very own home country and of how grateful I am that you are there, loving people and influencing our own culture with the gospel. I love Russia, as I know that those of you overseas love the country that you are serving in, but America is still home and I have a deep love and care for my own culture and people who are just as in need of the gospel as anyone else in the world.
I wanted to thank you for facing the unique challenges and pressures that you face each day as missionaries in your own country and culture. Sometimes I find it easier to be bold with the gospel here overseas since people expect me to be different anyway. If I am bold with the gospel, I don’t have to take it personally if they don’t like what I have to say because people already think I am “different” anyway. In your own culture it is harder though, because people expect you to be a certain way, and if you stand up for something different, it becomes that much more personal as you are willingly and boldly setting yourself apart from your own culture. I admire you women who endure that struggle each day and yet still boldly live for Christ.
Another thing that I admire about you is how you strive to resist being caught up with the cultural idols and competitions. Sure, every culture worships its own things other the One True God, but I have found that in some ways it can be easier to resist such temptations overseas, at least it seems that way to me, since I can separate these things in my mind as “cultural” and thus foreign to me. Being separated from the idols of my own culture is also often a blessing as I am removed from the pressure to have or to be whatever it is that my own culture is placing worth on at the time. Thank you for being strong women who worship and serve God even in the face of such appealing and convincing temptations.
Often times in cards from our supporters people will write something like, “Thank you for going…” and I often want to say to them and I want to say to you too, “Thank you for staying.” I hope that doesn’t sound too cliche, because it really is true. Just as surely as God calls some people to be missionaries in different cultures, He also just as significantly calls many to be missionaries to their own people. Thank you for faithfully accepting God’s call on your life to be His ambassadors within our own culture. I wholeheartedly believe that the most effective people to reach a culture are those who know it inside and out because they are a part of it. God calls and uses foreign missionaries too, but I believe that is not because they are more effective, but rather primarily because there is a lack of existing believers and sometimes resources in a place to see it fully reached. You women who are faithful ambassadors at home in the U.S. are equipped to be amazingly effective for God’s kingdom as you know best the heart of our culture and the need for Christ there.
Thank you so much for your faithfulness and willingness to boldly live for Christ and to face the many daily challenges of being a missionary to your own culture. I am grateful for you, as I am sure are the rest of your mom friends who are serving in countries that are not their own!
Moms who are overseas, do you have any other words of appreciation that you’d like to add?
(Post by: Ashley)