A teacher. An engineer. An arborist. A student. These professions seem pretty normal, nothing out of the ordinary.
A missionary. Now what thoughts come to mind? Whether good or bad, people usually have some opinion of missionaries. But either way, seldom are missionaries thought of as just an "average Joe or Jill" going about their business.
What if the professions listed above were actually done by Pioneers missionaries? It's true. Behind each of these professions is a real person, with problems, personality traits and dreams like anyone else. They are normal people just trying to live their lives for God in some very far out places.
"It was 21 years from when I felt called to missions till I got over there..." explained Ron*, a Pioneers missionary in Eastern Europe. Ron and his wife Joy are teachers by profession and are now using their specialty to reach a mostly secular-Muslim society.
Ron and Joy, with their two children, know that they have sacrificed things to be there but say they wouldn't change it. "There are the inconveniences, the lack of water and electricity and the kids not seeing their relatives but no matter how hard it gets what keeps us going is the knowledge that this is where God has called us."
Bill, an engineer by trade and a Pioneers missionary, couldn't agree more. "I never had any desire to be a missionary but while I was at Bible College a missionary spoke and said, 'Your King remains un-glorified in the masses of Asia.'"
Those words along with subsequent interactions with various missionaries changed the direction of Bill's life and led to him working in Central Asia. One sacrifice for Bill was not having other Westerners around. "But I felt giving up fellowship was worth it if it meant eternal fellowship with the Braja* people."
Pioneers missionaries are often asked two questions?
-What it is that you actually do?
-What types of people do you need?
Just like "normal" people, they live ordinary lives. They pay bills, fight with their spouses, and laugh with their friends. The key is that, wherever they are, they are trying to share the Gospel with people who have never before had a chance to hear it.
"If you are willing to be obedient to God, he can use you," explained Jamie.
Missionaries are ordinary people just trying to live out God's call on their life with the hopes of seeing their newfound friends in heaven one day.