The Journal of a Missionary

Recently, I’ve received a lot of inquiries about how to get into missions, becoming a missionary, what a normal day looks like, and what I even do… I felt that the best way to answer your questions was to share some journal pages from my mission to Nicaragua and Belize. Hopefully, this gives you a more personal look at what it’s like to be away from home over the holidays, the power of prayer, dangers on the field, and the not so glamorous part of being a missionary…

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December 25, 2017

This Christmas was unlike any other. 12 missionaries woke up in foreign 90-degree weather. Katie drew a Christmas tree and we taped my festive charger to it using band-aids, which had neon lights on the cord. Mama Colleen made everyone pancakes. Aaron gave a speech about the reason for the season and how grateful he was to be apart of this family #touched. The leaders revealed the presents from our families they had been hiding from us. Brooke cried, of course. We pulled all the mattresses into the living room and I made a fort using sheets and Andy’s shoelaces. We watched Christmas movies and I cuddled with Stella. This Christmas was a lot different but it felt a lot like home should feel like I will never forget it ❤

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Treasure Hunting

Colleen, Rosalie and I set off to find our treasures. Rosalie was super apprehensive, “What if we don’t find someone?” “What if God doesn’t speak to me?” Just as we were telling her to be more positive, a drunk man stumbled up to us and said, “God bless”. We were shocked and amused by God’s sense of humor. We prayed a blessing over the man and for him to remember our encounter. He kissed our hands and gave us cookies.

We then set off to find a woman working in the market with bananas hanging to her left. I gave her the verse God instructed me to give. She was tentative to take the note but as she read, her entire demeanor changed. She softened and shared it with two others!

Next, we were on the hunt for a crippled woman with flowers. After circling the park, we decided to regroup and pray for further directions. I felt a magnet on my back pulling us to the road behind us. 1 block down and there she was! The cutest, old woman with purple flowers on her skirt. She was greeting everyone as she walked. She approached us, sweet as can be as if we had already known each other. She informed us that her entire body was in pain (Colleen came through with translating). We prayed for healing and she wiggled her toes as I prayed for her feet (even though I prayed in English and she couldn’t understand).

(Days later we bumped into the same old woman and she told us that her entire body was healed and pointed to the sky and smiled)

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Jan 1, 2018

I am completely and utterly overwhelmed with joy. Through the messy God has shown me His unrelenting beauty and grace. The first day of the new year started off a little rough. My hula hoop went flying into the fan and yanked off the chain and Brooke broke the toilet seat. We were both terrified to tell our leaders but they laughed and answered with understanding and forgiveness. I am so blessed to have them as mentors. They continue to impress me and model what I want to be like as a wife, mom, and leader someday. We had an incredible intercession. I partnered with Colleen and the Lord spoke to us in perfect harmony. The words we received fit together in unison; completing each other’s thoughts into a God-inspired story. It was so beautiful to be a part of. The intricate, personal relationship with God’s voice brought tears to my eyes. It is a mysterious, unexplainable gift I will cherish forever… Stella was sick all day, throwing up more than her little body could handle. I traced her back as she fell asleep in my arms. We rocked in a chair and holding her close to my heart, I prayed for health and recovery over her. She woke up this morning energized and giving me Eskimo kisses. Jesus is so faithful.

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Jan 3, 2018

I guess it is appropriate that the day I read about Jonathan Goforth’s 50-year mission, an oven would blow up in my face… Let me back up, so the book revolves around the desperate, dangerous land of China, a place I’ve never been to, yet where a piece of my heart resides. Throughout Jonathan’s life, he buries 5 out of 11 children. Not the best odds if you ask me. He faces about every life-threatening situation that exists, from sickness to attack. I took a short break from reading to make some potatoes when the entire oven blew up in my face. Everything went fuzzy but I felt the explosion hit me and heard Brooke move past me toward safety. I thought that was probably a good idea and joined her. I was in total shock looking at the aftermath. The parts had flown across the room, into the sink and my potatoes scattered all over the floor 😦 It was a miracle Brooke and I were untouched. Colleen hugged me and assured me that it wasn’t my fault. I was immediately reminded of times when I was reckless and destructive. Stella ministered to me until I fell asleep.

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Learning to Dance in the Rain

Life with Jesus

is not comfortable

or without pain and trails

walking with

the Creator of the universe

is not about staying

dry

it is about stepping out into the Red Sea before

God parts the water

It is about stepping out in faith,

expecting attack and learning

to lean harder

into Jesus.

It is about growing in faith and trust

through experiences.

Yesterday, Brooke and I

took off on an adventure

and left the past

where it belonged.

We took pics of foreign flowers,

eager puppies, and wild horses

sharing a soccer field with sweaty boys.

We came home feeling more alive.

Aaron and I played cards together

and laughed until our stomachs hurt.

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Gracias Nicaragua

Currently on a small, slightly sketchy plane off to El Salvador with a final destination in Belize City. Closing this chapter in Nicaragua feels like I am leaving an entire life behind. How is it possible to fall in love with a city, a home, children, a culture and lifetime of memories in such a short amount of time? I came alive on the field. When Brenda had us draw our life dreams, I drew families all across the globe, but I never imagined how hard it would be to leave those families behind… knowing that Josue will remain a motherless, street kid and Oscar might have to give up his soccer dream to provide for his family and sick grandma. The greatest lesson I’ve learned is that some things are just completely and totally out of my control, but faith in the one that is in control is the greatest hope and weapon I have.

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Signs and Wonders in Belmopan

Belmopan was not easy for our team and I didn’t open up my journal much but I did want to write down some of the radical things God did in and through us to be able to look back and reflect. A huge highlight was the hospital. God put it on our hearts and gave us the courage to pray for patients. We got to pray for a premature baby and were able to come back and see that God had nearly doubled her in size and completely healed her lung! We also prayed for a woman who did know what was wrong with her body. She was brought to tears. When we returned, she was clearly touched and looked so much better. She said that her surgery went perfectly.

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Marla’s home was another amazing ministry we got to pour into. I really bonded with ____. She shared her story with me and I shared some of mine. It was really difficult to walk away from her, especially knowing her past of abandonment…

The vision of the yellow umbrella I had 3 months ago finally came to pass! We did a treasure hunt at the college. Rosalie and I split off and prayed. We listened patiently for an hour before any action happened. I was reminded of the yellow umbrella and low and behold a girl with a yellow umbrella walked right up to us. I told her that Jesus loved her and she said that was the first time she’d ever heard that. She was so sweet, curious, and receptive. We prayed for her in the middle of the campus.


If you have any more questions feel free to reach me at acarter2015@yahoo.com

Be blessed ❤

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