Becoming a new missionary has quite a few challenges.
How do you go from working a regular 40 hour job to transitioning to the missions field?
How do you raise support?
What are some of the challenges you will encounter?
Should I sell everything or put it into storage?
Just to name a few.
For me, personally I have had an interesting experience. When I returned from the DR to raise support I knew it was going to be a challenge. I knew that I didn't have enough funds coming in yet to go completely to support based finances, I knew that my car loan and insurance would basically take all of the funds coming in so I had to do something.
I was able to return to my retail job and work full-time. I was so thankful that they would allow me to return knowing that I would leave again a short time later. But then it came the challenge of how to do work full time and speak at churches or have meetings to share about TIME. Thankfully once again I had a job that was willing to "work with me" for the most part.
Originally I thought, raising support can't be that hard! Well, it is definitely harder then I first thought! It is a challenge to get churches to return your calls! Then, you hear, 'well as a church we can't support you, we have all of the missionaries we can support right now'. But, thankfully many of the churches I reached out to allowed me to come and share about the ministry. Opportunities at Awana, Small Groups, Socials, and church services were all opened to me.
Every time it seemed like I was beginning to doubt that this was what I was to be doing, well God would send me another speaking arrangement. While I am not 100% supported I am going to the field trusting God to provide all I need.
I also wrestled with should I sell/ donate all of my stuff or should I put it into storage. Well, most of my things have been sold or donated! Literally the only things I have anymore is clothing. I have sold or donated everything else.
This includes my car! I knew that I had to get rid of it. I knew that it couldn't just sit here month after month not being driven and paying on it. But, I was unsure how to go about it. During my time in the States in the Spring I had posted it shortly and I had heard from many that I was asking too much money for it. I knew that I had to get the pay-off amount for it or else I would still have a ton of debt and I wouldn't be able to pay off that loan. When I came back this fall I kept telling people by word of mouth that I needed to sell my car, but I didn't know what to do because I still needed a car to get back and forth to work and speaking arrangements. I trusted that God would take care of me.
Finally it was a few weeks prior to my departure and my father asked what I was going to do about my car. Honestly I was afraid! I had begun to doubt that I would get rid of my car prior to my departure. I told him that I had contacted 2 places before Christmas and hadn't heard from either. The next day I sat down and said ok I NEED to call them again. The same day I left the second message for them, one called me back. He asked me to come get my car appraised and he would see what he could do. I already knew that the appraisal would be less than the amount due, but I was praying the entire way there saying God I am trusting you with this. I don't know what else to do.
Within minutes of me walking in and handing over my keys the owner walked up to me and introduced himself. He said that they were going to appraise my car and would be right back. A short time later he returned and said the words, Your car is worth less than what you owe, and my heart sunk I thought he was going to say he can't help me, but he quickly continued. BUT, we will take care of your full amount due on your loan! We want to help you get to the missions field and now have to worry about this! I can only imagine the look on my face as I said Thank you! I cried the entire way home saying 'God I trusted You, You did it again! Thank you for your faithfulness!' That same day later I found a vehicle that would be loaned to me the last few weeks I am here! To me this was yet another affirmation that this is what God wants for me.
Now, a few weeks prior to my departure for the DR things are becoming real. It didn't all sink in until I sold my car that I will be moving in a few short weeks! Then it will be an entire set of new challenges that I am excited to encounter and to learn as I go. Please keep all of your missionary friends in your prayers. We have a bunch of challenges in our every day life that are unique to each of us.