As part of thinking about our ministry to half the world’s population, Checkpoint asked two female missionaries to tell us about someone who has influenced them in their walk as a Christian and missionary. For more great articles about ministry to women, check out our print magazine, Checkpoint Spring Edition 2017: Reaching Women: Reaching the World, available from your state branch, or watch this space in the coming weeks.
Who is someone that God has used to grow you in your faith or help you in your journey as a missionary?
Karen Darda (Japan): "One of the women who has been incredibly influential in my time in Japan is my first Japanese teacher, Toya-sensi. She is a Christian and has spent the majority of her working life in incredible patience, teaching missionaries how to speak, read and write Japanese. However, she has done so much more than that. In my first year, when I complained because the language and language learning was too hard, her response to me was: “So don't you want to share the gospel with Japanese people?” Basically, her challenge was: Are you willing to undergo the humiliation, blood, sweat and tears of language learning in order that Japanese people may know Jesus? She laughed, cried and prayed with me in the joy and pain of learning Japanese culture and language.
"She lives a long way away and we only swap New Years’ cards, but she still prays for me. She demonstrated her challenge to me as she put up with unmotivated, ignorant missionaries, all for the sake for the gospel. She is 'retiring' soon, and I will have a chance to see her before I leave Japan, to thank her for her incredible ministry to me."
Gillian Law (Italy): "God has used many people to grow me over the years and I can’t think of one person in particular. One of the great blessings of being a Christian is the church – sharing life together with fellow Christians and encouraging each other. There have been some key people, such as my family, or my staff worker at uni, or pastors at church, or speakers at conferences or visiting missionaries, all of whom have ministered to me in particular ways. But there have been numerous other friends, fellow believers, men, women, young adults, seniors, Australians, Italians and many more who through their words and their lives have encouraged – and continue to encourage me – to keep growing in my love and obedience of Jesus every day, and to keep returning to the cross when I fail."
Thank God for the people he uses in our lives to grow, shape and teach us to be more like him. Pray that more people will answer the call to ‘go’ and share the love of God with men, women and children in other cultures.