How to Survive on the Mission Field: A Sustainable Lifestyle

Sustainable lifestyle

In my last blog, I discussed the “camping-out” mentality that has caused many good missionaries to fail in the plans God had for them. Camping out is not a sustainable lifestyle. From WIM’s perspective, it is true that missionaries could be considered “temporary” because the end goal is to be replaced by local leaders who can lead the work indigenously. However, a missionary must understand that it is not wrong to have a proper home and material possessions in the meantime—as long as he owns them they do not own him.

Let’s revisit the verse I quoted in the last blog:

“Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.” -Proverbs 24:27 (KJV)

Most missionaries I know have prepared the work. They know what they are called to do and have a plan from God on how to do it. But if the missionary is “camping out,” they have not “made it fit” for themselves in the field.

We raised three children on the mission field. Those children needed proper housing, food, education, etc. When Kathy and I moved those children into a three bedroom home in a good, safe neighborhood, the peace of God settled on our family. Our children received a good education and are serving the Lord as adults. They also received a model of a healthy family that they are using to raise their children

Missionaries are in a marathon, not the 50-yard dash. We must think of a good quality of life for our families. If the work is not fit for you in the field, you may open the door for stress, sickness and a world of unnecessary problems. Jesus wants to give you abundant life.

“The thief only comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly.” -John 10:10

The thief will try to steal from missionaries through lying, “God does not want to give you a good house.”  He will try to make you feel guilty about having a nice place to live. When in reality it is His pleasure to bless you as you serve Him.

In my next blog, we will look at Matthew 19:29.

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