Ever wondered what a typical day looks like for missionaries like us serving in places like Central Asia? I can’t exactly say what a “normal” day is, since life here tends to be pretty fluid and not super structured, both due to the culture and the nature of our role. But as I thought through this particular day which is now wrapping up, I realized many of its parts give a window into key themes and challenges of this season of ministry. So, here it is. A day in the life of this particular cross-cultural church planter.
Today I slept past my alarm.
Drank coffee and read 30 minutes in a book about power and abuse in the Church.
Tried to counsel my seven-year-old through a bad attitude about her homeschool work.
Messed for a while with the internet only to realize the government had shut if off again to prevent cheating during university exams. Mobile data as well.
Listened to an audiobook while I got ready in order to keep preparing for the fall semester at the NGO where I teach part-time as my platform work.
Went for an hour prayer walk in the bazaar and stayed in the shade as much as possible.
Stopped for a cold blended melon drink on my way back to catch up on some texts. Updated colleagues on crisis counseling happening among local believing friends.
Went to the vet for tick medicine, and then back at home removed about 40 ticks off my poor dog. Drowned them in apple cider vinegar. Ordered a flea and tick collar from the US so that I never have to do that again.
Lunch with the family on the floor together, local style.
Talked with a student about a picnic house which he saw for rent. We are trying to find better local options for rest and sabbath.
Set up a friend who came to finish an overdue house project.
Led an update call with several coworkers in other cities.
Wrote out an English outline of the message this Friday and began the local language manuscript.
Made plans to go to a believing friend’s picnic house tomorrow night so my wife can connect with some of his unbelieving female coworkers who are also coming.
Dinner on the floor with the family.
Attended an engagement party for a believing attendee of our church plant who went against counsel and got engaged to an unbeliever. There was the normal line dancing but also a traditional dance involving a large knife.
Got my sleepy and sugar-crashing family back home, watered the garden trees, and threw away a pigeon carcass. Made plans for checking the local language sermon manuscript, sometime tomorrow.
Getting to bed probably around 1 a.m.
There it is. One random day in my life here. Overall not too abnormal, other than the tick apocalypse (grimacing even now as I recall it). During my prayer walk I was meditating on the end of the book of Jude, particularly verse 21, “keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
I look back on a normal day like this one and am honestly a bit daunted by the trials and dubious of my ability to keep myself in the love of God. Keep myself? But that next line gives me courage. I am called to do this by waiting on Jesus’ mercy. Ok. Waiting. I think I can do that. I might not always have the faith to laugh at the future when there are some really hard things going on in the present. But I do have faith that He can help me wait. I trust that he will, one day at a time.