In my quiet time today I reflected on John 15:16. It helps us as missionaries to identify our call. We are often asked to share how we arrived to our current placement. These questions surround how we became missionaries for the UMC, how we arrived in Mozambique, and why we are followers of Jesus Christ. Both Elizabeth and I have spent time sculpting articulate words to demonstrate how our lives fit into the Holy Spirit’s movement in missions. But this scripture is different. It reminds us of the simplicity and truthfulness of our actual call. Jesus reflects these words in the book of John, “You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.” And there it is, simple and real. God chose us to be in these roles. God chose us for these works and these trials. God chose us so that our journey can glorify God as we are all chosen for some purpose known to God. Our home church Pastor, Juan Huertas, reminds us often that God did not bring us here to fail, and God will equip us in God’s timing. Juan’s guidance and comforting words support us in our successes and failures as missionaries.
February marked six months since arriving in Mozambique. What a tumultuous six months it has been. We were dropped in a foreign town after dark in a house with no furniture and left to ourselves. We started Eva at a school we thought would be a great option, only to change two weeks later because she was really struggling. We endured five months of visa and immigration issues. We were not sure if we would be allowed to stay in Mozambique and were temporarily exiled in Swaziland. Additionally, we dealt with bronchial pneumonia, impetigo, a hurricane, and at least seven car breakdowns on the side of the road in a country where we do not speak the language. Yet, we know a real sense of relying on God everyday. We have felt the love of those who sent us, those we represent. We have made connections and allowed the Holy Spirit to fill the voids. We try to live the faithful example as followers of Jesus. We trust in the providence of the Lord and continue to seek to glorify God in all we do.
It is reassuring we do not go at it alone, but fully backed by a host of prayer warriors, family and friends. This is not just our mission, the McCormicks, but our mission with all whom we are able to connect. We are all missionaries in this! We have the word of God to be our strength, the love of each other to be our support, and the promise of being called into this journey. So I say bring on the next six months!