What is missionary work?

Maybe you are wondering, “So what do you do all day long there on the mission field?” That is a great question, and I sometimes wonder that myself. A good portion of the week is filled with things that probably don’t make very interesting reading – things like replying to e-mail, waiting in line for a document we need for some reason, preparing messages, or cleaning the house in preparation for a Bible study. That being said, here is our highlight reel for the past several days. Our most exciting moments were…

1. On Monday afternoon, Sarah spent a couple of hours at our neighborhood café talking with our elderly deaf neighbors, Carlos and Maria. In the process, she was able to meet another deaf lady for the first time. 

2. Monday evening, I met with Fernando, a man who is a part of our church-plant, to discuss ideas for how to fix up our building. Since I know next to nothing about building and construction, I am deeply grateful for the wisdom and counsel of this friend and brother.

3. On Tuesday, Sarah had lunch with a friend with whom she has been doing Bible studies. 

4. Every Tuesday and Thursday evening, I have Portuguese Sign Language classes from  6 -8. After class on Tuesdays, I meet with a friend of mine, Luis, to study the Bible and talk about life. Most of the times, we finish our time together around 11 pm. 

5. On Wednesday, I met with a missionary colleague, Beau Moore, and we spent the morning doing evangelism in Montijo. We approach people and ask them if they would be willing to participate in a “spiritual life survey” that takes about 5 minutes to complete. It is a good tool to begin a spiritual conversation with a stranger on the street. This time, we had good conversations with a young man, an old man, and a group of four teenage girls. The old man and the teenage girls both heard a clear presentation of the gospel. Pray that they would be saved. 

On Wednesday afternoon, I met with the builder responsible for fixing up our building. It was exciting to imagine what our church building will look like in just a few short weeks. 

Thursday night at 9:30, Sarah left the house to go to a poetry reading/choir concert. Yes, it started at 9:30, and for that reason, I stayed home with Laura. One of the men in our church plant is the director of the town choir, so we wanted to support him by having at least one of us there. Besides that, we want to take advantage of opportunities like this to be more involved with our community and meet more people. 

So, there you have it. Missionary work is talking with people at cafés, going to classes, eating lunch with unsaved friends, doing street evangelism, attending choir concerts, having Bible studies, and doing many other things just like these. On one hand, I love being a missionary because every day is different. We can set our own schedule, and the work is rarely tedious or repetitious. On the other hand, it is sometimes hard to keep a consistent schedule and separate your “work life” from your “home life”. All in all, I wouldn’t trade what I am doing for anything. I thank God for the work He has given us to do.