Friday, February 24, 2012

The Life of a Missionary

     I have officially decided - I'm returning to Costa Rica in April for the BCC (Bible Core Course)!! This 3-month intensive study of the Bible is a secondary course through YWAM. So I will be staying at the base where I did my Discipleship Training School in San Jose. I am excited for this opportunity to learn more about God's Word and the truth that it holds for my life. This is my next step in preparing for my life as a missionary (where I feel God is calling me). For any person in ministry, including pastors, missionaries, and youth workers, having a Biblical foundation is very important. Knowing the wisdom in the Bible prepares and equips us for teaching it to others through our work. So I am hoping that this school will provide me with a deeper understanding of God's purpose is for me and how to fulfill it.

     The life of a missionary is hard for some to comprehend because it goes against the norms of most cultures. Many missionaries do not stay in one place their whole lives, do not have a normal job with a steady income, and often must learn to adapt to a new culture or language in order to effectively minister to people. As I am beginning this life, it is scary to think about these changes. I do not know where I will live or where my income will come from at any given point, but I am trusting in God to provide for me. Raising support is a huge part of what missionaries do. This not only provides for the living expenses of the missionary, but also supports the ministry for which they are working. Equally important is having a group of people supporting you in prayer.

     I would like to share with you my vision as a missionary. I believe that it is important to have people supporting me who share in this vision. I am passionate about sharing God's love with the world, through proclaiming the message of Jesus and serving in practical ways. Both evangelism and social justice are vital to our Christian mission. In my opinion, the physical needs of people in poverty need to be addressed along with their spiritual and emotional needs. I have a particular heart for people suffering from issues of injustice, such as human trafficking, child abuse, and violence. Among the most vulnerable are women and children.  THERE ARE SO MANY HURTING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, WHO NEED HEALING AND LOVE. THIS CAN COME ONLY THROUGH CHRIST.

     In order to complete the Bible school in Costa Rica, I need $2000. I am working part-time now, but I do not know if what I make will be enough to cover the cost of the school. If you are interested in donating to part of the cost of this school, please click on the link on this blog or send checks to:

    Rebecca Dean
    9840 Dittmer Rd.
    Moores Hill, IN 47032

     Please be praying as I begin this next step of my journey! Thank you.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Abide in Love

    In the past month, I have turned in over 25 applications, gone to a conference, started a prayer group, worked several days, visited with old friends, read 2 really good books, and sent countless emails regarding my future opportunities. Nothing is certain yet, but I have a sort of routine to each week. I'm going with the flow right now. I now have a part-time job as a substitute teacher at the local elementary schools. I have been working about 2 or 3 days a week, teaching in various grades. It's interesting being the substitute because you are always in a different classroom, having to adjust to that teacher's rules and style of teaching. But I have been blessed to be with the same group of students several times, so I have had the chance to get to know these sweet kids. Each day I work brings me joy as I get to help these children learn and be a positive influence on their lives.

    During this time, God has been teaching me to abide in Him. John 15:4 says "Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me." At times in my life, I distanced myself from God because I thought He wasn't there for me or couldn't help me. But He was always there. Something I have been trying to focus on is simply abiding in God, being in His presence. So often I find myself trying to get something from God or wanting Him to give me an answer NOW. But it doesn't work like that. The key is to seek God. Just that, nothing else. Get to know Him. Then he will show us the answers we are looking for. I've been reading a book that talks about our relationship with God. One of the best quotes in this book simply says that if we seek God, he will let himself be found by us. We have to come to Him first.

    As today is Valentine's Day, I think it is appropriate to mention the topic of "true love". Our society is obsessed with this idea of finding true love, in the form of a person that is the perfect match for us, our "soulmate". While I certainly don't want to discourage anyone from thinking there is someone out there that will make them happy, I also don't believe that we should sit around dreaming of Prince Charming all day. Yes, it's nice to dream, but realistically, we should be focusing on improving our own character. How can I be a better friend, wife, sister, etc? Knowing that no one is perfect will bring us closer to true happiness, which can only be found in Christ. If Christ is the center of our relationships, we will be able to get through anything. True love can only truly be found in Him. (1 John 4: 7-8)

    UPDATE: I have been praying about returning to Costa Rica for a 3-month Bible school starting in April. During these three months we would do an intensive study of 14 books of the Bible, while also reading through the entire Bible and analyzing many aspects of the history, context, and meaning of the Word. No final decisions have been made yet, but I am very seriously considering this opportunity. I feel that it would give me a solid foundation for beginning this chapter of my life as a missionary. Please pray for guidance for me and that I would know if it is the right timing and program for me.