Missionary Life: The Joys and Hardships of Living in Another Culture

Living in another country and culture that is not your own can be both exciting and overwhelming. There are ups and downs, good times and bad times, victories and defeats. Have you ever lived overseas or in a different culture? Here are a few of the joys and hardships of cross-cultural living.

THE JOYS: 

  • Enjoyable and lasting friendships
  • Sharing the gospel with millions of people who have never heard of Jesus
  • Doing something we whole-heartedly believe in
  • Developing a greater understanding for God’s love and heart for the world
  • Fresh and cheap food
  • Getting to know yourself better
  • Learning how to live, thrive, and find joy in the uncomfortable

THE HARDSHIPS: 

  • Trusting in God’s provision in all areas of life: financially, emotionally and spiritually
  • Being challenged to rely more fully on God
  • Being homesick and missing friends and family
  • Not being fully known or understood by either our passport country or our host country
  • Bartering when you’re out and about in the markets
  • Learning where to focus your time
  • Learning to rely on God for everything including, finances, energy, joy, peace, health, food, rest, etc.
  • Driving a vehicle in the elements (rain, wind, beating down heat)
Have you ever lived cross-culturally?
We’d love to hear about your experience.

share_your_story

 

9 Tips for a Great Newsletter

You’re on your way to writing a great newsletter!

Below are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind as you sit down and write about your latest trips and experiences.

  1. Ministry vision tagline

    What is your vision? If you don’t have a vision, you’re wasting your time. My guess is, if you’ve made it this far, you have a vision. Allow God to develop it. Ask yourself this, “What is the story of my vision?” This will help you if you are having a hard time articulating your vision. Tell the story through the eyes of those impacted.

  2. Keep it short

    One page is plenty. Two pages should be your maximum. Quality trumps quantity.

  3. Big action pictures

    When choosing photos, use more action shots than stiff poses.

  4. Identify your audience

    Consider targeting those who already have a passion for missions work.

  5. Use true stories to connect

    Short ministry stories will impact the reader much more personally and deeply than an itinerary of events or a dry list of strategies and projects. Avoid sermons (unless that’s your theme).

  6. Prayer requests

    These are a good addition to your publication, provided the list is concise. Follow-ups on answers to prayer are also highly recommended.

  7. Make it personal

    People want to support you! Don’t send a generic letter from the team when you can send a personal letter from you. While you might share some details about your team, also include what your hopes, fears and needs are.

  8. Be Personal

    Instead of writing to a large group of people, write as though you are writing directly to one specific person.

  9. Gratitude Sandwich

    Start your letters with a sentence that reflects how thankful you are for the support you’ve received. Then, end your letter with gratitude as well. Thank them in advance for whatever way they choose to support you.

International Conference 2016

Over 80% of our missionaries attended the WIM International Conference this year in San Antonio, TX. Missionaries from different parts of the world such as Japan, Mexico, Africa, Ireland, and India, came together for 5 days to learn, worship, and be refreshed. It was like a huge family reunion echoing WIM’s core value for committed relationships. On Tuesday, we went to Schlitterbahn Waterpark as a group to

“Best Conference Ever!”

– Dale Pugh (WIM Missionary)

fellowship with one another and to relax. Throughout the week, various members of the WIM team spoke on different topics such as pastoral/missionary relations, communication, Biblical storytelling, and stewardship. We had wonderful times of worship and prayer. The theme this year was “One Generation to the Next: Passing the Baton.” Chuck Hall handed over the presidency of WIM to Chris Briles, the new president of WIM. God’s hand was evident at the conference; many lives were touched and visions were planted. It was an incredible time of multiple generations of missionaries coming together in unity as a family. A blessing to all who attended, this conference was made possible because of the provision of God through many generous people. 

 

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Be Ready In and Out of Season

By Patty Schmid

I climbed aboard the city bus heading downtown to St Paul for my dental appointment. Soon after I took my seat, I had the feeling that Jesus wanted me to share my faith. I had recently learned how to share my personal testimony in two or three minutes, and then share the gospel message just as briefly, I had even done it a few times, so I had an idea what I could say, but with whom? No one was right next to me so I looked around me and silently prayed, “Lord, is it the young lady across from me? Is it the woman in the seat behind me?”

I was a bit taken aback by the Lord’s quiet answer, “I want you to stand up and share with everyone.”

“Lord,” I argued, “Really? I’ve never done that before.” While I waited a few minutes, wrestling with my feelings, several more people got on the bus, and the urge to share only got stronger. “What if people don’t like it? What if the driver tells me to be quiet, or to get off?” I thought.  “Is this really you, God?” I prayed.

“Who else would it be?” came the answer. This made me smile, of course! I knew it wasn’t the devil. So I stood up and took a few steps toward the middle of the bus and spoke loudly so that all of the 30 or more people could hear me.

“I have something to share with you all. I’m 61 years old now,” I started, “but when I was 16, I was looking for meaning to my life like many young people do…” Everyone stared at me in stunned silence. No one said a word. One young man kept taking the earbud out of one ear to listen, then putting it back in.   I finished my little story of how I found Christ and how my life has changed, then I began telling the good news. The driver sent me a disapproving look in his rearview mirror. “Some of you may think I shouldn’t be talking like this, and maybe the driver doesn’t like it either, but I was on the bus one day when a woman was cursing and yelling for several minutes, and the driver said nothing. I think I should be able to say something good.” Several people nodded slightly in agreement and I went on, “I’ve never done this before, but I felt so strongly that I should share it, so I’m sure someone on this bus really needs to hear this. God loves each one of you very much and wants everything to go well with you.” Just then a young woman stood up to get off at her stop, and as she passed me, she handed me a dollar bill. It surprised me, but I just smiled and said “Thank you!” then I continued speaking, “The problem is that we all make bad decisions that cause bad consequences and make us feel like we can’t come close to God.” I told about God’s solution, how he sent Jesus to pay for our bad decisions and made it possible for us to have a relationship with God. I told them about the decision we all need to make.

When I finished, I didn’t think to lead them in a salvation prayer, but I remembered a little book I had with me, with scriptures and helpful comments.  I told them how good the book was, and asked if anyone wanted it. I made eye contact with several people, but no one took it. There was one young man close to where I was standing who had listened intently to all that I said. I looked at him and said, “You want it don’t you?” He nodded, and took the book. Then I sat down.

I talked a little with the woman next to me, then it was time for me to get off. A lady got off with me and then said, “I agree with everything you were saying.”

That encouraged me. As a matter of fact, I was very excited about what just happened. 30 people just heard the good news! In the three blocks that I had to walk to the dentist’s office, I spoke to four more people. I’ll tell you about one of them. As I walked a woman approached me, “Excuse me, could you give me 35cents for the train?”

I smiled broadly, “Do you know what? Someone just gave me a dollar. I think this is for you.” I pulled the dollar out of my pocket and handed it to her.

“Someone gave you a dollar?” she asked incredulously.

I explained briefly, and suggested I walk with her to the train stop.

“Okay but I have to walk slowly because of my knee,” she said.

“Oh, I’m a director of Healing Rooms,” I said. “We pray for people and see miracles all the time. I would love to pray for you.”

We stopped right there and she allowed me to lay my hand on her knee while I commanded healing in Jesus name. “Now check it out!” I said.

She moved her leg around and I could see by the astonishment in her face that her knee was healed! “It’s better!” She exclaimed.

I want to encourage everyone to be bold and step out and follow Paul’s advice to Timothy: “Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season… do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (II Timothy 4:2,5)


Patty and her husband John were called as missionaries to Mexico in 1998. They were on the field full-time from 2000 to 2006. Since 2006, their ministry has been more focused on healing which includes inner healing and deliverance. They are directors of Healing Rooms in the USA and have received certification for inner healing ministry. They spend six months of the year in Mexico working with Healing Rooms there. They are involved in the training and encouragement of prospective missionaries both in Mexico and the USA. Patty has authored a book called Sweetness and Light. John has authored Exploring the Father’s Heart: Love in Action, the first book of a series.

Fruitful Team Visit

Group of people standing in front of Japanese landmark

By Vicente & Janine Alvarado

In late June, a team from our home church visited to put on a VBS along with a number of other outreaches. It was the first short-term team visit that we planned from start to finish, so it was a trial run for us. We attempted to put into practice all we’ve learned to make it a fruitful trip. We put on several children’s programs to bless and boost ongoing children’s outreaches and ministries. The response of the kids was amazing — they learned and had fun doing so!  We also spent time prayer walking with specific purposes each day. Not only was it a blessing for the people and ministries in Japan, but also the team had a great time exploring and learning more about this wonderful culture. We look forward to seeing the fruit that will come out of this trip!

Photo Credit: Angelito Van Dam


Vicente and Janine met each other while serving in Tokyo in 2010. They married in 2012 in the US and are now launching back out to where it all began. Their vision is to see Japan transformed by the Gospel and a vibrant community of believers emerge to transform their culture.