From the Wife’s Perspective:
Our first three months on the field are somewhat of a blur now, but yet I believe them to have been a very vital part of our continuing ministry. While emotions are still running high from walking away from family and friends, a new reality begins to set in on the life you’ve been only talking and dreaming of for so long. I believe these five things were helpful for me in the first three months on the field.
1. Embrace my new home. This included finding a place to live and making it into a home for my family. While house searching can become overwhelming and discouraging, we chose to see it as an exciting time and new beginnings for our family.
2. Excel in language learning. Not everyone will need to travel down the road of language learning, but for us it is needful. So, we found a wonderful learning center to begin our training and dove into it with all of our minds.
3. Encourage veteran missionaries. We were blessed to arrive in a field that had existing missionaries. Since I felt helpless in the very beginning, I made it a goal to encourage the missionaries we were there to help and also learn as much as I could from them.
4. Entertain new friends. It can be very difficult to make a new friend that doesn’t speak your language. I learned many ways to communicate to the natives without using my tongue. From baking treats to just letting our kids play together – I know lasting friendships were made during that time.
5. Embark my husbands new roles. Deputation held a lot of different “job opportunities” for my husband than the typical daily routine we see. When we arrived in the field, my husband had a new role that required some adjusting. I had to learn the importance of my husbands study time for language and the need for him to be out quite frequently learning the culture.
I remember after arriving to the field I asked my husband “OK, we’re here, now what?” Ha! Thankfully, the Lord has shown us each step of the way. It can be a very difficult, yet very rewarding. Just trust the Lord to guide you and stay faithful in His word.