The next 5 weeks will be dedicated to a series of blog posts by Kory and Cara Fay, who served briefly in Cameroon. Kory is now assisting with member care and the recruitment and pre-field process at the LBT Service Center in Aurora, Illinois. Here, the Fays will share some lessons learned on the field. It’s a great way to get some insight into what it is like to be a new missionary in a foreign field.
Many of you know that we were only in Cameroon for a brief 3.5 months before needing to return to the United States. Much of what follows are things that we knew on some level, but did not give the amount of time/attention that they deserved. What this series will not include are things that we did know and were glad for it (maybe that will be for another time…). To start off the series, we wanted to provide a few short pieces of advice:
- Be easy on yourselves- you will likely be in “survival mode” at various points as you adjust to the culture (focusing on simply eating, sleeping, and spending time with God).
- Don’t expect the entire first term to be terrible. Yes, it will have challenges, but God will also give you many great joys and gifts because He is ever present, loving, incredibly powerful, and SO good.
- Surround yourself with those whose love for the Lord, for the people they are serving, and for life in general is contagious.
- Try to look at each experience as an adventure.
- In preparing, it is tempting to want to rush through the various steps (partnership development, training, etc.) to get to the field as soon as possible. It is important to resist that temptation and take your time. We believe that newly married missionaries, as well as missionaries who have just had a baby, should take the time to establish routines as a – family before adding even more changes to their lives.
- Don’t compare yourself with other missionaries. Ask the Lord to guide you. He knows that we are individuals with different needs and abilities and he wants you to be you- not someone else.
Be sure to check back next Wednesday for Part II!