The missionary family that we have been working has been back in the states over a month now on a short furlough. They helped us tremendously when we first arrived and as we were getting everything setup. They are helping us in our language acquisition and we have been able to be a part of their ministry. Now that they are back in the states on furlough, many may think that we took over their ministry while they are gone. Not exactly…and here are two reasons why:
The first reasons is because we are only in our ninth month of language acquisition, therefore our language abilities aren’t good enough to be able to take over a ministry. Though we do try to be involved as much as we can (that our current language ability allows us).
The second reason, which is more important, is that we don’t do missions like that, at least we try not to. What I mean is that they have trained up men to do the work of the ministry in their absence. In the past four years they have been able to learn Chinese, plant a church, and train three men who are in full-time ministry and leading the church while they are back in America. The guys they trained are are doing a great job preaching, praying, discipling, and leading. The missionary didn’t need us to fill in his shoes while he was absent because he was already busy taking care of that problem before we ever arrived.
This is also our desire, to train men, leaders of leaders. I pray as our ministry increases with our language ability that the Lord will give us men to train. As a missionary, that is my job, to train others to do the work of the ministry. I pray that when we plant a church and it is time for furlough that we will be able to leave the ministry in the hands of those whom we have spend our time here training.