Shawn Batemen, missionary to Argentina, answers the question

What in your childhood prepared you to be a missionary?

Looking back at my childhood I can see a few things that helped. We didn’t eat any weird food, or have strange customs, at least they weren’t weird and strange to us. I was pretty much raised in a cultural bubble. There was not a diversity of ethnicity, or cultures where I am from. So from that perspective, no, there was nothing that prepared me to be a missionary.

On the other hand I was raised in a home where I was taught to love Jesus and love others. I was raised in a home that put God first in everything. The Bible was read and loved, and I would have long conversations about spiritual matters with my parents and grandparents. There was placed in my heart a love for the Savior and a desire to glorify Him.

So out of that, missions would be a big thing for us, because we desired not only to worship and praise our Savior but that others would do so as well. My parents loved missions and missionaries. I remember watching as they would write out missions checks, and because Dad was the pastor, we were always going out to eat with the missionaries. Some of those missionaries that came through made a pretty big impact on my life.

Kevin White, missionary in Bolivia, answers the following questions:

What in your childhood prepared you to be a missionary?

It is amazing to me how God works all things for good and how many things in life that you don’t even realize, help prepare you for His will. I can see in my life growing up how many things that I experienced and faced, even small things, have helped prepare me for the mission field. I grew up in the country on a farm so from very little I was used to being around things that for some people might seem yuck.

Now when I walk through the market and see all the meat and animal parts that are for sale it is not that different from what I grew up with on the farm. Also the culture that I grew up in was with people that were more cordial and friendly. For example, on visitation (In the US) it was not rare for someone to invite us into their house or try and give us something to drink and although with graciously declined it is very similar to the culture that we are in on the mission field where you always offer your visitors something to drink or eat. These are just a few of many things in my life that I can see how God has used them to help prepare me for His work.

How did your family react?

When we first decided to be missionaries we were going to work with the hispanics in the United Sates. That was too big of a problem for our parents and family but when we decided to go to Bolivia that was a different story. I was older so although my mom hated to think about us leaving the country, she immediately said that she knew we had to do what the Lord wanted.

With my wife it was another story. With her being their first child and a girl, at first they were not very happy saying things like we were making a hasty decision and that we needed to take more time to think about it before deciding. We kindly, showing respect explained that we had prayed for a long time and were sure that this was what the Lord wanted. They weren’t all that happy but accepted. The funny thing is that both my mom and my mother in law now brag to everyone that they see that we are missionaries in Bolivia, even to the point that it is embarrassing sometimes.

Who or what has been the most helpful or encouragement, person, book, or whatever?

I can really see how the Lord has not only used things or events in my life to prepare me but also how He has used certain people to bring us to the point that we are at today. From the time I was little my family raised us in church and taught us values and respect for others. When I began getting involved in church at the age of 21 my youth pastor (now my father in law) was very influential in my spiritual growth and was the first one that the Lord used to put a desire in me to serve Him in the ministry.

When I went to Bible college I met a missionary named Austin Gardner and through the years the Lord has probably used him more than anyone else to work in my life. Although I had learned much theory in Bible college I knew very little to nothing about practice in the ministry. He has been my mentor and friend that has helped me and motivated me to attempt great things for the Lord and expect great things from the Lord.

1 Comment
  • Posted April 9, 2015 5:36 pm
    by Kason Bloom

    God can use ordinary men to accomplish extraordinary tasks. Neither of these guys had a special upbringing but God is using them.

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