{Janet} What Is A Missionary? pt. 2

Please welcome back Janet…

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In August I was back home visiting friends and family after almost 2 years away. During that time I visited my dear home church in Minneapolis and was asked to speak for a few minutes Sunday morning. Since the service was geared towards kids, I prepared the typical 5-10 minutes talk about what was going on where I lived and so forth.

When I arrived at the church, my pastor’s wife looked at me and said, “I was praying and I really feel like you have something really important to say to the kids, so you have the service.”

{Gulp.}

Before the service started I asked one of the teenagers if he would give a definition of what he thought a missionary was. When the service started, he took the microphone and gave a very good definition. “A missionary is someone who goes to another country to share the Gospel.”

jj2As I started speaking, I perhaps solidified that notion of what a missionary is. I live in Germany, I left everything I knew behind, and had to learn a new culture and speak another language.

As I sat there with these kids sitting on the floor listening to my stories, I wanted them to see a different definition of what a missionary is. I felt so strongly to impress this on these young imaginative minds that were seated there in front, listening, so…

I told them there was more to being a missionary. I wanted them to see that they didn’t have to go to a different country and learn a new language. There is more to it than just that.

I asked one of the boys to come up and stand by me and as he did I pointed to him and said, “This is a missionary.” One by one, I had each child come up and join me and said, “This is a missionary.”

Then to the parents, I declared each of these precious children were in fact living breathing missionaries. They have the chance to touch the lives of kids at school and in their neighborhoods every. Single. Day.

jj1Being a missionary does not mean that we stand on the street corner preaching or go to Africa and care for dying children. {There are people whom God calls to do this and they really need our love, respect, and care…but today I have a different point to make.}

I challenge every one out there to be a missionary.

At work, that person who is just a jerk to you? They need Jesus.

That single mom who is struggling to make ends meet and raise her children as best she can? She needs you to touch her life, be a friend, love her.

That kid on the playground who is new and has no friends? The kids who know Jesus have the opportunity to shine the Light of Love to their friends.

That old man or lady you see at the bus stop or walking down the street or at the grocery store that always looks a little sad? LOVE THEM!!!
jj3Show them who Jesus really is, live it out to them.

Don’t wait, don’t think you can’t make a difference.

Redefine your thinking.

Be a missionary.

{Janet} What is a Missionary? pt. 1

Introducing…Janet! Janet is a dear friend of mine who has moved to Germany to make a home and show God’s love to the people in a small town called Meissen. She is also my first guest blogger. And this is her first guest blog. hee!

Enter Janet:

_MG_3082Before you read on, I want you to know two things:
1. Missions go very deep into the core of who I am.
2. I would be one of the very worst missionaries out there if I had to live up to what I grew up believing a missionary was.

For as long as I can remember I have heard about, listened to, and been around honest to goodness living, breathing, adventurous missionaries.

They came to my home church and told us of their tales, sent letters and personal notes, stayed in our home, ate meals with us. Our church supported and took care of these missionaries. I guess you could say that had a big impact on my already imaginative young mind and in many ways shaped my thinking.

As I grew up, those thoughts of what I viewed as missionary work didn’t change much. To me a missionary was someone who went and lived in the wilds of Africa, Cambodia or perhaps India or China. Those people were daring and bold in their faith, risking life and limb to show people who Jesus is and that he is real. THAT was a Missionary!

After working a mainstream job in the medical field for several years in South Dakota and Minnesota, I decided to do what I really wanted to do. I did a whole lot of praying and sought council from people I trusted and then made the plunge: I was going to finally be a Missionary.

So, at the bright age of 32 I set off with a missions organization; not really knowing what I was doing, but “doing the stuff.” It lead me to some very interesting places, and it slowly changed my view of what a missionary is.

I moved to Germany two years ago to work with the same missions organization I had been doing short term stuff with for a few years. They were starting a new base and needed help. I learned to speak German and learned more about the German culture. This was it!

But God had other plans for me, more things to teach me.

I have since left the mission organization I was with in Germany. I still live in Germany and work in the health care field again, this time in Elder Care. I am no longer a “Missionary” by the standard definition.

What I have discovered is the standard definition doesn’t cover all there is to being a missionary.

Before I tell you what I learned (next week), what do you think a missionary is?

Thank you.

To all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives.

To the mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, children and families who have shared the lives of their loved ones.

All so we {I} can live here with so many freedoms.

THANK YOU.

Those two words seem not-enough, but yet none others seem adequate.

May God bless you.

4 hanson

{R&K Wedding} Here Comes the Bride

As the wedding day carried on, it was time for the ceremony to start.wedc1wedc2This day had so many special moments, but I think one of the most wonderful moments was when Rob and Kristin washed each others feet. I’ve never seen a foot washing at a wedding before, but this day it felt so sacred and special and WOW.wedc3wedc4wedc5