Explore panel: ‘How has your relationship with Jesus changed through ministry?’
January 2022

Cross-cultural ministry can be difficult work and difficulty often provides opportunities for our personal relationship with Jesus to strengthen, deepen, and be sculpted. this month in Explore News you will find out how ministry has changed our missionary panelists' relationship with Jesus.

My Trust Has Grown  

"My level of trust in Him is the thing that was changed and grown the most.  I have had to live through seasons of anxiety, panic attacks, and then the counseling and healing required to really see God´s hand in not just the good, but also the hard, the scary, the sad and the hopelessness. But in that process, as my trust has increased my anxiety has decreased.  I may not accomplish all that I think I want to accomplish in a day and I may not have control of the circumstances that interrupt my plans, but in that vagueness and flexibility God shows up. He takes center stage and gets the glory instead of me.  So I take that as a plus!  Wouldn’t change it for anything else."

Assumptions Challenged and True Identity Discovered

"Thinking about life and ministry outside of my home culture, I have seen many of my assumptions about God and His Word challenged by those of a different culture.  People have challenged my assumptions about what is good and right and made me look at things in new ways.  I have also had to defend things that I see as good and right from His Word that are not assumed by those in the churches here.  Even reading His Word in a new language has helped me to dig deeper into different passages to see what God is really wanting to communicate.  The other big thing I can think of is that some of the things that were part of my identity were taken away.  I had always done well in school and felt smart in the US, but when I wasn't able to communicate basic things I didn't feel so intelligent, and even after 15 years in Russia I still struggle to communicate things at times.  I also love to joke with people, but being able to do that not only in another language, but with different cultural nuances is not fully possible.  Losing these parts of my identity have pushed me to find my true identity in Christ.  One last thing, is that you quickly recognize the work we are involved in is beyond our feeble abilities.  This has pushed me to prayer and to seeking prayer from others.  My prayer life is still nowhere near where I would like it to be, but God has used our ministry here as a tool to help me pray more."

 "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." -Romans 12:2 (ESV)  
Photo by: Roberto Sorin on Unsplash

Deeper Relationship

My relationship with Jesus feels deeper than the years leading up to overseas work. I am able to notice the nudging of the Spirit more often. Almost like Jesus and I just understand each other more, or rather, I understand him more than before.

Growth Through Difficulty

My relationship with Christ has grown--but the lessons he has taught me have often been hard! Our service on the mission field has to flow out of a genuine love of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. I've realized how much I need to grow in both of those areas! John 15:5 says, "I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (ESV).

Maybe the missionary panel's experiences have prompted you to take your next step on your missions journey. We’d love to talk to you about it! Connect with a SEND mission coach

Invite others to Explore

Have a friend who could benefit from Explore? They can sign up here for the Explore News email. 


Subscribe now to stay up to date on all our recent posts, right to your inbox!

Connect with SEND

Start your missions journey by chatting with a SEND Coach.


Sign up for Explore, our monthly newsletter to help you discover your role in missions.