On The Road
by Sara Martin
Looking at the last two years, it is incredible to see how God has provided for us. Month after month, church after church, and person after person who have financially invested to see the Gospel continue in China. As raising support comes to a close, I am reminded of two very important lessons this process has taught me. Or actually, I’m still learning.
Boast in the Lord
When we visit a church for the first time or meet someone we’ve never met before and tell them that we want to go to China to start churches, a typical response sounds like, “Wow that’s amazing.” “You guys are rockstars.”, and “You must be sacrificing so much.” The comments go on. Not to my surprise, it was very easy to become impressed with myself. Thoughts like, “You know what, I guess I am kind of awesome.” “I’m sacrificing so much, I do deserve blah blah blah.” Thankfully, scripture gives this a name. It’s called pride. When we think too highly of ourselves we are unable to boast in our Lord. What’s the solution to this toxic mindset? In 1 Corinthians Paul asks the people to not divide over placing too much emphasis on man. Whether they were placing it on Paul or his gospel-preaching colleagues. God takes us, foolish and weak as we are, and shames the world’s definition of wise and strong. Instead Christ Jesus became our wisdom, righteous, sanctification, and redemption. This is the premise of our boasting. We boast in the one who saved us. We boast in the one who sent us, not in the one who goes.
2. Be Transparent
Again, not to my surprise, being transparent about one’s foolishness and weakness doesn’t come naturally. Our job over the last two years was to share our burden about China and the need there. So it shouldn’t be to anyone’s surprise that there was little time to get personal. But once in awhile, a pastor or a member of a church would ask about our marriage or say something like, “Yes I know you need prayers to get to China, but how can I be praying for YOU.” In the back of my mind I would ask myself how honest is too honest. Not being sure I would say something generic or smile and say I’m fine. Eventually, I realized I was afraid of sharing my sins or current struggles because of the potential cost of losing support. Can you relate to this fear? What’s the solution to this? The Lord was put to death because of my sins. Jesus being aware of everything I’ve ever done wrong still went to the cross. Granting us the greatest victory over sin. This truth has given me confidence and freedom to share real life with real prayer requests. I am thankful for consistency with some of the women I’ve met who help me exercise this discipline.
In closing, these are my final thoughts. I am a woman who happens to be a missionary and I am foolish and weak. Yet, it’s the foolish and weak vessels where the reality of God is made clear. As a woman who happens to be a missionary, I still live in a broken world. Being intrigued by sin and lured into the pleasures of this world is my daily battle. Being transparent is hard but it’s through Word of God and his body, where I’m reminded that my sin no longer has power over me, I am no longer condemned. All glory be to God.