• Sarah Miller

The Stationary Missionary

Let’s face it, the last two years have been rough. For all of us.

About eighteen months ago, I had just made it home right before the lockdown hit my country. For the six months prior to that, I had been living a dream of mine: staffing the School of Writing. I was finally doing work that I knew God was calling me to. It was challenging but I felt that, for once, I was actively working in a role that God had just for me.

Cue the pandemic. Everyone was filled with so much uncertainty and fear and I returned home with the classic missionary woe of little money and no job. On top of that, it was the beginning of unforeseen mental and physical health problems, financial difficulties, and social starvation.

I wonder if you have also experienced a similar kind of whiplash. How is it you can go from such a high mountain peak, seeing God work through and for you, to feeling useless and directionless? How are missionaries supposed to do mission work when we can’t go on the mission field?

The thing is, even in times of stressful unknowns, God is still there. He’s still writing the story, even when it seems like there are no new paragraphs to read yet.

Even if we can’t do traditional mission work, let’s remember the impact we have on our homes. While it can be frustrating to not be able to go to the people and places calling to us, we can still make the most of our time where we are.

Because of this season, I’ve made connections that otherwise I probably never would have. I’ve made new friends and strengthened old relationships. I haven’t been able to leave my region or see my family or any typical mission work. But I’ve been able to sit with friends in the middle of deep struggles. I’ve been able to connect with leaders and demonstrate my appreciation for them. I’ve even been able to become part of a group of friends that support each other when life gets messy.

While many of us feel stuck and like we have very few options, remember to not neglect the place where you are right here and now. Look for outreaches into your community: youth groups, soup kitchens, or even book clubs. You can impact the churches around you, support the leaders over you, encourage and stand with the people near you.

We can dream of the future and talk with God about His plans for us out in the big, wide world, while remaining faithful to take care of where He has us now. He’s bigger than politics, the price of airline tickets, illnesses...even our own fears. His work through us is not limited to work on the mission field, it can happen where we all are right now.