Well, many friends keep asking how our first week of deputation was. In a word, it was “interesting.” But in more it was fun and exciting while uncomfortable and challenging.
I felt this intense pressure to be super-supportive missionary wifey and a perfect mom. The Lord just had to humble me! It all started with a baby blanket I stumbled upon while looking for a container to store our display table things. I thought it would be perfect for travel and for the current weather, so I threw it in my bag. It was fluffy and pink and hadn’t yet been washed, and, of course, I was wearing a black shirt. It’s funny how something that small can just irritate you ALL DAY! Every time I held the baby, I would get fuzzy again. I tried to smile and be friendly, but I was constantly distracted by pink fuzz. Our reception was very sweet, and I felt silly for being worried about all these little things. The Lord was good to us even when I was a stressed out crazy person.
I also got the over the initial challenge of talking to people that may not necessarily want to talk to me. I felt like I should introduce myself to people, but I did not want to be showy in like a, “Hello, I am Amber. I am a missionary. Ask me questions” kind of attitude. So I just looked like the world’s friendliest visitor. I introduced myself to a group of teen girls who kindly responded with blank stares. I thought, “This is going to be a long couple of years.” This was not representative of the majority of my conversations, and I felt just so blessed to have been able to meet so many Christian women and see them serve in various ways around the church. I realized there is something to learn from everyone I meet (or at least everyone that will talk to me) and, sometimes, there will be ways I can minister to them.
Sunday night, we sat in my car which is lacking dependable AC for an hour and 45 minutes waiting for our country church-goers to show. At 5 minutes till 6 we figured we had messed something up, but like some kind of Baptist parade, they all poured into the parking lot at once. I typically would have griped about this time, but I was so thankful to be with my family and knowing that my husband was finally able to do what he wanted to do. PREACH. And that he did! The pastor Sunday night gave him THE WHOLE SERVICE! I watched as a look of panic washed over his face but quickly saw it replaced with confidence and excitement to share our burden for India with these believers. And I fell in love all over again.
Wednesday night, we met a young boy who had watched a video about Amy Carmichael and was “obsessed” with India, as his mom put it. He told us that he wanted to be a missionary some day. He was very shy, but by the way he acted, you would have thought we were some kind of celebrities! He was so sweet and had such a heart for missions for such a young boy. We were encouraged by his desire to serve the Lord and thankful for his parents’ leadership and faithfulness to teach their children about the Bible and about missions.
I think it’s these little things that will not only “get me through” deputation but will help me have fun and remain excited as we confront the uncomfortable and challenging times along the way. I can say for sure that it will be…interesting!