“One without the other causes a lot of pain and reduces the effectiveness of ministry.”
2) Absolutely No: Complaining, Being Critical, or Comparisons
As I look back on some of my own missionary experiences, I have found this (the three C’s) to be the number one turn off from the natives point of view. In fact, generally speaking, when you are a missionary the natives could care less how things are done ‘where you come from’. This means no posting on social media sites (such as Facebook) about the food you so desperately miss from your home country, or how you cannot stand 'such and such' where God has now placed you. Missionaries like all Christians are to die to themselves daily, serving Christ not the flesh. Remember: Culturally speaking, things are the way they are, and for them life is not going to change much apart from them knowing Jesus personally. Do not try to change their culture. Introduce them to Jesus and He will change their mind and heart. (Phil 2:14-15)
3) Absolutely NO Excuses
Excuses abound for everyone and yes, they exist for missionaries as well. However, the best way to maintain a life of no excuses is to live for Jesus and with Jesus; fighting the good fight (2Tim 4:7). This is not easy but it is the Christian life we all are called to (Luke 9:23). This should start before life in missions and continue throughout your calling as a missionary.
4) No Newsletter Pressure
Newsletters are essential in getting information out to friends, family, and others back home. However, just do not make the mistake of forcing God’s work too soon solely to place information on the letter. One of the most essential things in ministry is prayer and waiting on the Lord. Those praying for you will understand these things and are likely to take the most interest in the work God has called you to do when they see you totally relying on the Lord. I remember hearing a story about an American missionary family in the eighties who went to Germany and for almost a year sent monthly letters back to their home church. Every month the newsletters were near identical, “praying daily over our city”. Fast forward more than twenty years later and that city is blessed with a growing church as well as a Bible College and it all started with a family lifting up the city God called them to in prayer . J/D