Quiet Time and Missionary Life

“When I arrive on the mission field, I’ll be more consistent with my quiet times.” Have you ever thought that? I did, before I entered the field. We would agree that if Jesus spent time in prayer and communion with His Father, sometimes all night, we ought to do the same. However, Christians, whether missionaries or not, frequently confess that finding the minutes for a consistent quite time can be challenging.

“When I arrive on the mission field, I’ll be more consistent with my quiet times.” Have you ever thought that? I did, before I entered the mission field. We would agree that if Jesus spent time in prayer and communion with His Father – sometimes all night, we ought to do the same. However, Christians, whether missionaries or not, frequently confess that finding the minutes for a consistent quiet time can be challenging.

What are some of the reasons for this challenge? First, we have many valid demands on our time; we have children, jobs, housework and church. From my experience, however, if quiet time is not a consistent part of life before departure, it will not be any easier in another culture. In addition to the usual demands on your time, you will encounter differences in shopping, laundry, and cooking. It will take time to search for stores on unknown roads with unknown driving rules and signs in an unknown language. That takes time.

I will give a personal example of a challenge I faced shortly after arriving at our destination country.

I was supposed to pick up someone at a train station. The round trip should not have taken more than 90 minutes. However, I got so lost that I wasn’t sure how to get back to the city in which I lived, much less find the train station! I barely managed to ask directions in the local language, but the answer was not given in English! Desperately I watched the gentleman point, and then sandwiched between many unknown words, I heard “left” and eventually “right.” That was not much to go on, but I found my way to the station and home again, even though it took twice as long as it should have.

At the following site you will find a compilation of some of the challenges missionaries face which can affect your time with the Lord.  https://www.askamissionary.com/question/525

The second reason for inconsistent quiet time may be that we’ve lost our first love for the Lord and His Word. Despite committing to follow Him to the mission field, we may neglect to nurture the foundational love and trust we need in the one who leads us to that very field. We need to challenge ourselves to run the race well now, (Hebrews 12:1-2) since it will be vital as we walk into the unknown with Him.

Habits take time to form, but if Susanna Wesley could find time for the Lord in the midst of her 19 children, there is a way! For encouragement in developing a stronger habit of consistent quiet time, consider the advice found at the following site: https://verticallivingministries.com/tag/common-problems-in-establishing-a-quiet-time/

Picture of Helen McCormack

Helen McCormack

Helen and her late husband David confirmed God’s first call to missions at a MissionNext Conference in 2002. After three short-term (2-4 month) projects in Lithuania, they joined Wycliffe Bible Translators. They then taught for seven years at Black Forest Academy in Germany. Black Forest Academy serves mostly missionary families who work in over 50 countries throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. Helen now serves as a Journey Guide with MissionNext.

Picture of Nelson Malwitz, Founder, Chief Innovation Officer

Nelson Malwitz, Founder, Chief Innovation Officer

Nelson is the generic Evangelical baby-boomer. Born in 1946, raised in the C&MA, he attended Urbana ’67 in college. He holds an MS degree in Chemical Engineering and worked in R&D positions in American industry for 33 years. Nelson is an inventor with formal training in methods of creative problem-solving. He was a founding elder at Walnut Hill Community Church in Bethel, CT (1982) and served in many leadership capacities of what is now one of the largest Evangelical churches in New England. In 1998 Nelson founded the Finishers Project, now MissionNext. Locally he attends a Torah study and serves as chairman of the Sewer Commission in his community to be a witness among unchurched leaders.

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