Missionaries sometimes face a seismic paradigm shift resulting in exponential transformation, an “Aha!” moment that forever changes their lives and witness. As a result, they become more earnest in reaching others, developing closer bonds to their people, and bringing life-altering, eternity-driven choices to the unreached with power. When the Holy Spirit is involved, this decision to change or not becomes inevitable for missionary and local alike.
After multiple attempts to convince a friend to take specific steps in his walk with God, Elijah Williams receives wonderful news. All it took was making a personal decision (p. 17).
At the Gogodala Project, a godly father and husband chases away local troublemakers who repeatedly entertain themselves next to his house. But he soon regrets his actions, believing there must be a better way to interact with the young men (Sliger, p. 12).
On the Pnong Project, young Sari is the only child who volunteers to pray at school. But after her classmates learn more about Jesus’ love, a miracle occurs (Nicholaides, p. 12).
Fortunately, some changes come easier than others and only require realizing that there is another way to do or think about something.
Samuel Wyler gives a light-hearted top 10 list of how life has changed for his family since moving to Atlasland (p. 32). Follow that up with Anne Troy’s glimpse into unwritten rules of cultural norms and politeness for a quick chuckle over experiences that may look familiar to you (p. 38).
Other moments of change do not come as easily.
Imagine being taught to believe one way, only to be presented with biblical truths that counter everything you think you know (White, p. 26). Or when you have biblical questions, and a church full of elders provides answers that do not harmonize with what God is revealing to you from His word (Martinson, p. 41).
Jesus is returning soon, and roughly 42 percent of the world remains unreached.1 What will give us the courage to choose transformation? Live life with a heavenly-oriented perspective — like, say, Paul and Silas during their night of imprisonment — and let the Holy Spirit guide us and those for whom we pray to life everlasting.