By L. P.photo-1438368915865-a852ef86fc42

   As I sat waiting to be called into the room, I reminded myself, “These are my peeps. No need to be nervous.”

The missionary candidate application process was rigorous. They’d done their homework. Psychological tests were done to evaluate how I might fare in the stress of cross-cultural living. How did I sense God’s call to go? What services did my agency provide that would sustain me on the field? Is the team I will be serving with a good fit?

These men and women would decide whether Trinity would indeed put its resources behind me. They did…and I’m writing this blog from somewhere in Asia, praise God.

   Trinity’s resources…As founder and director of Trinity’s Missionary Care Team I’d seen our Care Team harness those amazing resources to care for our church’s missionaries. Now those resources would be used to care for me. This will be interesting, I remember thinking. What will it be like on the other side of that care?

   I have not been disappointed. A person from the Care Team (a former missionary herself) calls once a month and I know I can be open about bumps along the way, not only because she understands them as normal, but also because of our Care Team’s policy of confidentiality. When my support took an unexpected dive, another person on the Care Team helped me devise a strategy to get back on track. I remained in close contact with my Mission Pastor who was always glad to answer questions or hear updates of what’s happening. While at Trinity I was a part of a great group of faithful prayer warriors that met every Sunday to pray for Trinity’s missionaries. Now, on the receiving end, I picture it as a sort of lifeline of prayer, and I’m sure it was a major factor in getting me through a rough patch in language learning. There have been encouraging skype calls and emails from so many friends and the small groups I was a part of.

   I’ll be returning next year to Trinity Church for a few weeks. There is a house and car reserved for me to use. I’ll catch up on dental work and routine physicals at a reduced rate from professionals in our church. The Care Team will have dinner with me for an informal debrief to learn how they can better meet my needs when I go back. They’ll hold a retreat for the missionaries who are in town where we can get away in God’s nature and connect with each other for mutual ministry. And, how sweet it will be to meet with that Sunday group that has faithfully prayed for me, as well as connect with so many good friends.

   My agency and the field team I serve with have been wonderful to support me as I learn to navigate life in a new culture. New relationships are forming, and I’m grateful for that. But…I can’t imagine doing this without the resources, wisdom and encouragement of people who’ve known me for a lifetime. It’s made all the difference.