One of the things, I really wanted to do after leaving language school was chronological bible storytelling. At that time, I had a 3-year-old and 7-month-old who were with me all the time. We were also trying to set up our new home, look for a kindergarten, understand the new ministry, get to know the team we had joined, and adjust to a new city. I felt I didn’t have any extra energy to do external ministry, even if I had the opportunity. However, I struggled with a painful longing to do more, even though I knew that I didn’t have the capacity.
A few months after arriving, I started to frequent a local café once a week by myself for some time to rejuvenate. The café owner happened to be a friendly middle-aged lady, so I made an effort to talk to her and get to know her. By God’s grace, through our conversations, she shared that she was interested in understanding the Bible more. This led to the opportunity to do some bible storytelling with her, and now I’ve just started to read the Bible with her.
One of the difficulties in being a missionary mum, is that you are essentially a working mum. This can be frustrating for a new missionary because on the one hand, you have a deep desire to go out and share the gospel (and use your newly learned Japanese), because this was why you came to Japan in the first place. However, on the other hand you also desire to be a faithful wife and mother, looking after the household, and diligently teaching your children to follow Jesus.
Both are important, but the reality, I’ve discovered, is that it’s impossible to spend equal amounts of time on both, especially when you have young children. Once I realised and accepted this reality I had peace and was able to focus to what I could do.
Here are a couple of suggestions if you find yourself in this position:
- Pray God will provide opportunities for you to share the gospel.
- Look for opportunities in your everyday environment to share the gospel. Having young children will bring you into contact with other mums, either through the kindergarten or at the park. You may also be able to get to know local shop keepers.
The opportunity I now have is an answer to prayer, as is the peace that I’ve found after I accepted that it was impossible to do everything that I desired to do. God wants us to be godly mothers, and faithful to our call to share the gospel in Japan. He will provide the opportunities in his time.
Written by Jo.