Rosalind is no stranger to transitions. She joined OMF as a doctor, but in her time as a missionary, she has performed many roles, and including on leadership teams. She came back to Singapore to further equip herself with counselling skill, knowing that it will be beneficial to her future ministry.
A Simple Life?
I had hoped for a simple and routine life, to serve the sick as a doctor, and to be fruitful in the body of Christ. In 2002, however, my plans were changed by God’s call to cross-cultural ministry. I moved to a new country, took on a new job role and responsibilities, started a new work routine, and joined a new multi-cultural community in a new organisation. Since then, I have moved house a couple of times, travelled frequently, and gone through a major restructuring in my organisation. Now, I am home in Singapore to equip myself with new skills for a new ministry. Change and transition has become a normal experience in my life.
Leading to Growth
I have found that transitions can be times of spiritual growth. For example, I thought that I had been humble and meek when I gave up my reputation, position, and possessions to serve overseas. Yet, when I could not get a work visa in the country where I wanted to serve, I fumed with indignation. The humiliation was devastating. It was only then that I realised that I was still placing my confidence on titles and achievements. That experience showed me that my true identity is only in Christ, as a beloved child of my heavenly Father.
Trusting God to Provide
Transitions have also taught me about God’s provision. When the organisation assigned me a new role, I had to move from a “low cost” city to one where rents were much higher. To my great surprise, a local Christian whom I didn’t know offered her apartment to me at below the market rate. There were many, many more instances of God providing for my other needs, giving me wisdom, discernment, care, community and strength. God is never late in his provision.
Holding on to God
My experiences have strengthened my belief that faith is not a leap into the dark. I have sufficient experiences of God’s faithfulness to trust him for the next transition and the next challenge. God has been very kind to me in that before each new transition, He has always given me a “word” to cling on to for the tough and rough times. Once, even before I was asked to relocate to a city which I did not think I was called to, the Lord prepared me with this word: “No matter where you are, no matter what you do, it is for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people you are called to.” No transition is too difficult if we remain in the Lord’s will.
Where is home?
After 13 years overseas, I was excited to return home to Singapore for an extended time of studies in 2016. Ironically, however, coming home has been more challenging than expected. Having missed the significant moments and shared experiences of family members and close friends, I discovered that integrating back into their lives was harder than I thought it would be. They have changed. I have changed. Singapore has changed. Is there a place on earth where I will always feel settled? Probably not, if my true home is the eternal city of God.
Will you pray for Workers in the Harvest Field?
Pray for missionaries like Rosalind in transition. Ask God to help them to remember their true home is in heaven.
Give thanks for how God uses times of transition to bring spiritual growth and increase workers’ reliance on him.
Pray for God to give missionaries the grace so they can adjust well to transitions.