Sunday, June 13, 2010

Missionary Monday - "Glass Half Full"

The first piece of advice I remember hubby giving me when we got to the field nearly eight years ago was this, "We're not going to write anything negative back home."

Did negative things happen? Of course! Did I write about those things and send them back home? Well, I did write about them, in big, long e-mails to my sweet, understanding mother-in-law. She is a veteran missionary, and surely she would understand. But I never sent those e-mails. So, why did I write them? Because just typing it all out in black and white seemed to help me feel better. I felt like someone knew... even if it was just the 'ole computer.
The Lord knew the hard times we faced because I certainly talked to Him about them too. And that is enough. Some of the things we have gone through will never be known. Why? Because those things are not of eternal value.
Why do missionaries go through difficulties? Because the devil is against what we are trying to accomplish!
Through my "Missionary Mondays," I am going to share with you some of the "real side" of being a missionary. You need to see that. But we are going to laugh together and stay positive! Because, to this day, I am following hubby's advice, "We're not going to write anything negative back home."

(And, by the way, lots of positive things are happening on the mission field too! Just read this blog on a regular basis and you will agree!)

Below you will find a stanza from a poem that I found online.

...So when you're on the mission field and things look very drear,
Remember there's a recipe to fill your heart with cheer.
Don't dwell upon the differences or the culture seeming wrong --
Get on your knees and pray to God and ask Him for a song.

And think of how God's only Son left Heaven up above,
Coming to a foreign culture to bring to man God's love.
And all of the frustration and the hardship you go through
Really cannot be compared with what He did for you!!
--Author Unknown
Proverbs 25:25 As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. I have heard many pastors refer to this verse when trying to encourage their people to write and encourage missionaries. But, for me, this verse goes the other way: people want to hear good news from my far country... about the blessings and miracles that are taking place here on the mission field!


  1. I wholeheartedly agree! Obviously, I don't have nearly as much experience on the field. But I know that nobody wants to hear a sob story, and they don't help anyone either. It's good to be reminded to look at all the blessings God has given us and be positive! Thanks for sharing and having such a great attitude!

  2. Such a blessing, Jolene!
    Can't wait until next Monday!

  3. It's so easy to dwell on the negatives...I too often write things down I am frustrated about...and then when I go back and read them...I see how petty they often are...or God shows me how he has his hand working on those things already.

    You have been such a blessing to me! I have enjoyed seeing your heart for God in such a different place than what is comfortable or common for most of us. Yet it is your home,,,,and somehow I see that the US...wouldn't quite seem like home to you anymore. Because your home truly is where God puts you and where your heart is. Your heart is in the Ukraine.

    (((HUGS))) Praying daily!

  4. Dear Jolene,

    I enjoyed reading your post. I agree....I believe that "complaining" about your situation is not pleasing to the Lord. For some reason He allows the hard times, and wants those hard times to mold us into a joyful, thankful Christian; not a bitter complaining one!

    Love you, and really enjoy your blogging!


  5. I really believe that Satan works even harder concerning missionaries. What better way to get them to leave the field because of discouragement...and thus, keeping more souls from hearing the gospel and being saved.

    On a positive note, Gods knows all about our trials and sees every tear drop. I believe the rewards in Heaven will be worth waiting for.

  6. Hello!

    Just wanted to pop in and say thanks for stopping by my blog!

    What a wonderful mission you are on with your family!

  7. Jolene, I have written in my journal and written emails too, that I would never send. =) My Grammy has always told me to look at the glass half full and to focus on all "the good" our Father is doing. His JOY is truly our strength (in the good times and the bad)! And, as a "military missionary" *smile* I feel the same way about sending the positive news home.

    Thank you for this reminder and for sharing your life with us! *Hugs*

  8. Dear Jolene,

    Your e-mail thoughts concerning the "glass half full" were a blessing. As I read about how all missionaries face difficulties and are up against the "great hinderer, Satan", I was blessed by the way you encouraged yourself in the Lord.

    I thought about how true followers of Jesus Christ face the same "great hinderer", and he knows what things to throw at each individual to try and discourage us from "keeping on for Jesus." Just remember those difficulties we hesitate to share, God can turn them into blessings to be shared at the right time. What Satan means for evil, God wants to use for good.

    Praying for YOU and your family. Congratulations on your expected new family member.

    Rejoicing in the Savior,
    Eph. 3:20

  9. Hello from rainy Oregon.............
    Thank you, thank you, thank you......for reminding us (God's kids) that 'His Grace IS Sufficient' in every situation, though worded in the excellent
    poem you shared. May I share it with other ministry/missionary friends?



Thank you for your encouraging comments! "As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country." Proverbs 25:25