On Thursday of this week, I met with Tammy Ogden, a missionary in El Salvador that our church supports. Right now, she is living in the states because of her battle with breast cancer. Anyway, she had a meeting with my mom and dad a few weeks back. When Mom told Tammy about me, she wanted to meet with me also, in light of me wanting to be a missionary. So, Thursday we met and talked, her, my mom, my sister, and I over coffee and some delicious cookie cake m&m bars I had made.
She gave me a bit of advice which I soaked up and hope to put into practice someday. The following are the three things I made note of:
1. Americans focus mostly on the projects at hand, not the lives and relationships they can build. A lot of people outside of the USA are more concerned about the people, not the job at hand. It really is a sad thing and Tammy told me to make sure the people are always my main focus in everything I do. Now that I write about it, my dad is always trying to tell our people at church these things. I do dearly hope I can grab on to them and use them, even now.
2. Know the people you are with. Be aware of the difference in culture, of how they see things as a posed to how you see them. Make sure you know them, know how they operate, how best to affect them by what you do, for them and with them.
3. Let God stretch you in doing the things you don’t quite find appealing. She said that she teaches English to a group of children up the mountain from where she lives in El Salvador. At first, she really didn’t want to. Teaching was not her plan, and especially not English! But through that, through her saying yes, and doing it, even though she didn’t want to, God was able to use her and help her to grow.
I know that I learned a lot from talking with her, and I am excited to see where it will all take me one day. I’m finding it hard to be patient, especially when I don’t fit in here. But, that is another post entirely for me to write sometime. For now, I just have to trust that God knows what He’s doing, and that I am not quite ready yet, but I know this to be true already.
Help me, Jesus. Grow me. teach me how to become the person you need for the job you have for me. I love you.
Ps. You should check out her blog too at John and Tammy Ogden