Michelle: So do you really like living in Romania?
Me: Yes, we really do. We love the Romanian people and all their smiles. We love the work we do at the church, and your country and your city are so beautiful. We love living here.
Michelle: I do not understand. Yes, it is beautiful, but America is better and more beautiful. I know other missionaries. I ask them why they here, and they say, “Because in America we are nobody. Here we are stars.”
Now perhaps these other missionaries (not anyone we know) actually said this. I don’t know. I think it’s a bit more likely that something they said was a bit discombobulated by the language barrier. But regardless of whether they said it or not. The idea of self-aggrandizement as a motive for ministry is what Michelle has taken away from her relationship with them.
Oh, may this never be the impression we pass on to the Romanians or to people anywhere. And may this never be a secret motive of ours.
- Please pray with us that that the Lord will make us into His servant-leaders.
- And even more please pray that He will continually refine us internally making us heart-bondslaves of Christ.
- Pray that when we are around others that they see not us, but what Christ is doing in and through us. May our lives so radiate Christ that we are lost in His brilliance.
- Pray that we can be perceptive of cultural differences and wise with our words and actions so not to give impressions we never intend.
- Pray for my (Laurel’s) relationship with Michelle. I see her once a week for several hours. I do not know yet exactly what she believes, but I do know that she is very burdened for her teenage daughters who are making choices that she sees as morally dangerous.I was able to give her some Romanian Bible studies to look at and suggested she do them with her daughter. She seemed very grateful. Please pray for much wisdom and help in communicating. We communicate with her speaking broken English and my speaking mostly English but trying very hard to use the Romanian I do know.
As always this is not her actual name. We change names and minor details to obey European privacy laws.