Monthly Archives: August 2013

[Guest Post] Take a Trusted Advisor on your Survey Trip

This is our first guest post by Andrew Aaron.  He and his wife Emily have been missionaries in Ghana since 2009.  I can remember when Andrew and Emily came on their survey trip in 2006.  They even had a meal with us at our house.  We had been evacuated from Ivory Coast and were in Ghana temporarily at that time; we filled in for another missionary family while they went on furlough and then returned to Ivory Coast. I remember talking to Dr. Wilson and Brother Brewster, and they told me that they had come on the survey trip to help their missionary be able to make some important decisions.  I am so thankful for the friendship with Andrew and Emily, and I am very glad that they were able to bring their advisors along with them on their survey trip.  

If you would like to guest post on this blog, please check out the guidelines here.
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I want to talk about the importance of a good survey trip.   I visited Ghana on a short-term medical mission trip when I was eighteen, but my wife had never been to Ghana.  We started planning our survey trip at the beginning of our deputation process.  I really thought it was important for my wife to see the mission field before we fully committed ourselves to the field.  I knew it would probably be harder for my wife to adjust than myself.  She is the one that has to cook, shop, wash, clean, and school our kids all in a completely different setting than what she was used to.  I try to be a realist about living on the mission field.  I thought it was important to show my wife what she was committing to.

Looking back, I can see that the biggest blessing of our survey trip was the men who went with us.  We were able to go with two of the men from my home church.  Billy Brewster and Dr. Rob Wilson planned a medical missions clinic with some of the missionaries that I wanted to visit.  Doctor Wilson is a dentist that takes a lot of short term medical missions trip around the world.  Billy Brewster was a contractor, a farmer, and a youth leader who had ministered to the teens of our church for the past twenty years.   Bro. Billy is now a pastor.  He is still a close friend and one of my main spiritual advisers.   They wanted to go on this trip for my sake.  The main purpose was for Emily and I to have a survey trip, and the secondary purpose was for us to get to minister to the people of Ghana medically.

I knew it was God’s will for me to first work with another missionary.   My survey trip, in my mind, would determine who I would work with when I arrived on the field.   We were able to see six different missionary families on our survey trip.  My choosing who we would work with was a very big step for us.   It would determine where we would live, and it would determine what we would be taught for our first years on the mission field.   I was determined to list the pros and cons of these missionaries, pray over it, and make my decision.  I wanted a plan for the pastors back in the States.  I knew it would help us raise our support on deputation if I had a plan about where we were going to live and work for our first term.

Our three week survey trip was going well.  We had visited a lot of missionaries, and the doctors had treated a lot of medical patients.  In the end, this medical missions/survey trip had been a bigger blessing than I first thought.  The medical clinics were hard work and put the missionaries in stressful situations.   We were able to see how they acted under stress.   We finished our trip and headed home.  I was really glad to leave.   In my opinion, mission trips are always harder than actually living on the mission field.   When you are able to move to the field and set up your home, it is easier to live than on a missions trip in which you are constantly on the move.

After the trip, the two men from my church wanted to sit down and talk about the trip.  I was ready to pick the missionary that I thought was the best, finish deputation, and get back to Ghana.   Bro. Billy and Bro. Rob asked me what I thought about the trip.  After I was finished, they told me what they saw on our survey trip.  Wow! Some of the things that they were saying about the missionaries on the survey trip were different than how I had seen them.   To be honest, I was very discouraged after this meeting.  I thought that they were being a little hard about some things.  In fact, they did not have peace about any of the missionaries that we worked with on the trip.

I had a decision to make.  I could respect them and listen to the counsel of these two men and all the years of wisdom, or I could just pick a missionary because that is what I thought would get me to the mission field the fastest.  I listened to the two wise men that God had given me in my life.  I was twenty three at the time and realized that they understood people better than I did.  God really used them in my life.

I did all but two months of my deputation not knowing where I was going to be working.  This was a little hard when pastors would ask me where we were going to work, but God had a plan.  God led me to another missionary that I did not even know at the time of my survey trip.  We have been working here with him since coming to Ghana.

Since I have come to the field, the other ministry that I first was thinking about has really had problems.   God saved me from a lot of problems because I had two wise men on my survey trip with me.   They saw things a little bit deeper and a little differently than a twenty-three-year-old did.  Planning, praying, and getting Godly counsel is never time lost!

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The Bible says that in the multitude of counselors there is safety.  I firmly believe that.  Did someone go with you on your survey trip?  I would like to know what you think about this topic.  Please join in the conversation in the comment section below this article.

#026 – Missionary Dan Rabe [Podcast]

Missionary Dan Rabe went to the mission field when he was one year old.  His parents were New Tribes Missionaries in Senegal and he has followed in their foot steps.

 photo DanRabe_zps2423fb49.jpgBut first, let me welcome you back to Missionary on Fire. I am your host, Missionary Joe Consford, and this is the show where we introduce you to missionaries who are on fire for the Lord. One thing I love to point out is that quote by Charles Spurgeon, “Every Christian is ether a missionary or an imposter!”

The first article in our series of Missionary on Fire School of Missions has been published . I hope you will come and learn about missions with me and get involved in the conversations in the comments section below each article. The list of all of the articles will be found at MissionaryOnFire.com/SchoolOfMissions. We all have so much to learn! If you have an idea for an article and you would like to be a guest writer on this blog, then go to MissionaryOnFire.com/guestpost to find out more.

Missionary Dan Rabe has an amazing testimony.  He and his brother were swimming in Senegal when he was eight years old and his ten year old brother was eaten by a crocodile.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to Missionary on Fire this week. If you could take a moment to leave a comment about how this week’s testimony by a pastor with a heart for missions has blessed you, I would greatly appreciate it. To leave a comment on this week’s episode, go to MissionaryOnFire.com/025 , scroll down to the bottom, and leave your comment there. If you would rather leave the comment on Facebook, you can visit MissionaryOnFire.com/facebook. If you use twitter, I have already set up a great tweet for you; all you have to do is go to MissionaryOnFre.com/tweet , and there is a tweet ready for you to send. If you prefer to send a good old e-mail, the address is feedback@missionaryonfire.com. I cannot wait to hear from you!

MissionaryOnFire.com is sending out a monthly newsletter. This newsletter includes all of the interviews for the month as well as all of the articles from Missionary on Fire School of Missions. If you would like to sign up for the newsletter, you may do so by going to MissionaryOnFire.com/subscribe. You do not want to miss a single episode.

Don’t forget about Joe’s Podcast; go to MissionaryOnFire.com/joespodcast. In Joe’s Podcast, our goal is to help you build a better relationship with us as missionaries. You can call and ask questions on our voice mail; we will play that recording and answer your question in one of the upcoming episodes. If you play one of our episodes in your Sunday School class and then have your students ask questions on our voice mail, then you can play the answers in your class and the students will hear their voice and my answer to their question. It goes a long way to help children get a burden for missions when a missionary takes time to answer their questions. Try it out and see what I am talking about! The voice mail number is (936) 553-5234, or if you prefer to send your question by e-mail, the address is feedback@consfords.com.

That brings us to the end of this week’s episode of Missionary on Fire. From our mission field to your mission field, have a great week and God bless!

[New Post] 4 More Reasons Why a New Missionary Should Take a Survey Trip

Just before we were scheduled to go on our survey trip, one of our supporting churches gave us a love offering that covered the exact amount that we still needed to be able to make the trip. Wow! I have learned that God provides a way to do what He wants us to do. One little boy even broke his piggy bank and sent us an envelope with $1.67 in change, mostly pennies. He did put a $0.28 stamp on it. I guess the biggest miracle in this story is that the post office did not return the envelope for insufficient postage. We really did enjoy our survey trip, and I believe it was one of the biggest learning curves in our lives. We returned from our four week survey trip with a greater zeal to reach the mission field as quickly as possible. Here are four more reasons why I am glad we took a survey trip:

1. The survey trip allowed us to learn first-hand how to answer questions from prospective supporting churches.

As I said in the last post, we had already been traveling for several months before we went on our survey trip. We were able to write down all of the questions that we had been asked that we did not have an answer for, and then we were able to find out the answers to those questions while on the field. After our survey trip, we had a much better reception at prospective churches; and I believe that the main reason is that we were able to tell our own stories about what we had seen with our own eyes.

2. The survey trip allowed us the ability to prepare a better visual presentation that addressed many of the questions that pastors had been asking.

We took hundreds of photos while we were on our survey trip. We wrote a script for our presentation while we were there, and we tried to answer as many of the most popular questions that we had been asked in the presentation itself. I can tell you that I do not know how that presentation affected others; but every time I saw it on deputation, it made me want to go to the field right away.

3. The survey trip allowed my wife to see the kind of things that she was interested in. I am so thankful that the Lord provided a way for my wife to go on this survey trip.

I firmly believe that it was more important for her to go and see where we would be living than it was for me. I can eat anything, sleep anywhere, and talk to anyone. My wife is not like that at all. She was able to go to the market, the local grocery stores, and the big supermarkets in town and see what she would need to do to prepare the kinds of food that she enjoys making.

4. The survey trip allowed us to see the local economy and helped us to better prepare to pack our container with useful things.

We were able to see the kind of furniture that could be purchased and what was not available. We were able to see the vehicles so that we would know how to prepare for our transportation needs. It was nice to be able to write a list of things we would need to bring in a container. That list made things so much easier. Did you take a survey trip? I would love to hear from you about what the biggest lesson was that you learned from the trip. Please leave your comments to this article in the comment section below so that we can all join in on this conversation and so that future missionaries can benefit from our discussion.

#025 – Pastor Jerald Chadwick [Podcast]

Pastor Jerald Chadwick is one of my favorite pastors in America.  He has a heart for missions that will encourage anyone to get on fire for the Lord!

 photo jerald_chadwick_zps9df33412.jpg

But first, let me welcome you back to Missionary on Fire.  I am your host, Missionary Joe Consford, and this is the show where we introduce you to missionaries who are on fire for the Lord.   One thing I love to point out is that quote by Charles Spurgeon, “Every Christian is ether a missionary or an imposter!”

The first article in our series of Missionary on Fire School of Missions has been published .  I hope you will come and learn about missions with me and get involved in the conversations in the comments section below each article.  The list of all of the articles will be found at MissionaryOnFire.com/SchoolOfMissions. We all have so much to learn!  If you have an idea for an article and you would like to be a guest writer on this blog, then go to MissionaryOnFire.com/guestpost to find out more.

Pastor Jerald Chadwick was saved from a life of alcohol and violence in 1966.  He has been serving the Lord full time since 1968.  In that time, he has planted four churches and pastored a few others.  I really think you are going to enjoy this interview with a pastor that has the heart of a Missionary on Fire!

 

Thank you for taking the time to listen to Missionary on Fire this week.  If you could take a moment to leave a comment about how this week’s testimony by a pastor with a heart for missions has blessed you, I would greatly appreciate it.  To leave a comment on this week’s episode, go to MissionaryOnFire.com/025 , scroll down to the bottom, and leave your comment there.  If you would rather leave the comment on Facebook, you can visit MissionaryOnFire.com/facebook.  If you use twitter, I have already set up a great tweet for you; all you have to do is go to MissionaryOnFre.com/tweet , and there is a tweet ready for you to send.  If you prefer to send a good old e-mail, the address is feedback@missionaryonfire.com.  I cannot wait to hear from you!

MissionaryOnFire.com is sending out a monthly newsletter.  This newsletter includes all of the interviews for the month as well as all of the articles from Missionary on Fire School of Missions.  If you would like to sign up for the newsletter, you may do so by going to MissionaryOnFire.com/subscribe.  You do not want to miss a single episode.

Don’t forget about Joe’s Podcast; go to MissionaryOnFire.com/joespodcast.  In Joe’s Podcast, our goal is to help you build a better relationship with us as missionaries.  You can call and ask questions on our voice mail; we will play that recording and answer your question in one of the upcoming episodes.  If you play one of our episodes in your Sunday School class and then have your students ask questions on our voice mail, then you can play the answers in your class and the students will hear their voice and my answer to their question.  It goes a long way to help children get a burden for missions when a missionary takes time to answer their questions.  Try it out and see what I am talking about!  The voice mail number is (936) 553-5234, or if you prefer to send your question by e-mail, the address is feedback@consfords.com.

That brings us to the end of this week’s episode of Missionary on Fire.  From our mission field to your mission field, have a great week and God bless!

[New Post] Four Reasons why a new missionary should take a survey trip

In June of 2001, my wife and I embarked on our survey trip.  I had never flown on an airliner before.  I had never had a passport.  I guess it goes without saying that I was out of my element.  I did not really know the missionaries we were going to see.  I had read their prayer letters and had heard them speak in my church, but I did not have a relationship with these people.

I can remember as we flew over the Sahara Desert watching out of the window of that airliner as the desert sands changed to the savannah of northern Ivory Coast and then to the lush green forest of the south.  I knew that God had called me to West Africa, and I was so excited about getting to see that country for the first time.  As I write these words, tears are once again streaming down my face as I remember how I got goose bumps on the back of my neck as we made our final approach into Abidjan.  I could see millions of people going about their daily lives, and I knew that God had called me to reach those people with the gospel in your place.

Here are four of the eight reasons I am so glad that my wife and I went on a survey trip.

1.    The survey trip increased our urgency to get to the field.

While on our survey trip, we were able to visit a village near the church where we would be working during our first term.  We went on a walking tour of that village.  We met the village chief, and he asked us how soon we would be coming to his village to start a church.  We were ready to call all of the churches we were scheduled to be in on deputation and tell them that we were not going to return to the States and that they should prayerfully consider taking us on for support.  We did not do that; I am so glad we were able to do deputation and build relationships with our supporters.

2.    The survey trip increased our desire to learn the language of the people.

I love to talk to people!  Using an interrupter (better known as an interpreter) really cramped my style.  There were so many stories I wanted to tell and so many stories that I wanted to learn, but I could not because I did not understand the language.  I determined right then that no matter what I was going to learn to communicate with the people.

3.    The survey trip allowed us to get to know the missionaries with whom we would be working.

It is so important that we as missionaries get along.  I have seen how problems between missionaries have undone years of labor.  Most missionaries are very opinionated and are always ready to defend their position.  I am so glad that I was able to see this first hand and learn that the method is not a point of contention.  The message is what we should be focusing on.

4.    The survey trip allowed us to develop a plan for our first term.

While on our survey trip, my wife and I took a lot of notes, and we discussed opportunities we saw.   Then, we were able to discuss these opportunities with the veteran missionaries who were on site.  This allowed us to have a “game plan” that we could present to our prospective supporters as we traveled on deputation.   We had already done some traveling before we went on the survey trip, and I saw a huge advantage in being able to tell the churches what we planned on doing in our first term after we had been on the survey trip.

This is just the first article in a two part series.  In the next article, we will continue this discussion with four more reasons I am glad that I was privileged to take a survey trip.

What is one thing you wish you would have done on your survey trip?   I value your input on this subject!  Please join in the conversation in the comments section below.

#024 – Missionary Ted Veer – SIM [Podcast]

Missionary Ted Veer is a great story teller.  He was saved in 1941 and went to the mission field in 1955.  He served as a missionary in Ethiopia from 1955 until 1976.  I just loved getting to talk to him, and you will love the story of this Missionary on Fire.

 photo tedveer_zpsf19a03be.jpg

But first, let me welcome you back to Missionary on Fire.  I am your host Missionary Joe Consford, and this is the show where we introduce you to missionaries who are on fire for the Lord.   One thing I love to point out is that quote by Charles Spurgeon, “Every Christian is ether a missionary or an imposter!”

The first article in our series of Missionary on Fire School of  Missions has been published .  I hope you will come and learn about missions with me and get involved in the conversations in the comments section below each article.  The list of all of the articles will be found at MissionaryOnFire.com/SchoolOfMissions. We all have so much to learn!  If you have an idea for an article and you would like to be a guest writer on this blog, then go to MissionaryOnFire.com/guestpost to find out more.

I hope you enjoy this conversation with Missionary Ted Veer.

 

Thank you for taking the time to listen to Missionary on Fire this week.  If you could take a moment to leave a comment about how this week’s missionary testimony has blessed you, I would greatly appreciate it.  To leave a comment on this week’s episode, go to MissionaryOnFire.com/024 , scroll down to the bottom, and leave your comment there.  If you would rather leave the comment on Facebook, you can visit MissionaryOnFire.com/facebook.  If you use twitter, I have already set up a great tweet for you; all you have to do is go to MissionaryOnFre.com/tweet , and there is a tweet ready for you to send.  If you prefer to send a good old e-mail, the address is feedback@missionaryonfire.com.  I cannot wait to hear from you!

MissionaryOnFire.com is now starting to send a monthly newsletter.  This newsletter will include all of the interviews for the month as well as all of the articles from Missionary on fire School of Missions.  If you would like to sign up for the newsletter, you may do so by going to MissionaryOnFire.com/subscribe.  You do not want to miss a single episode.

Don’t forget about Joe’s Podcast; go to MissionaryOnFire.com/joespodcast.  In Joe’s Podcast, our goal is to help you build a better relationship with us as missionaries.  You can call and ask questions on our voice mail; we will play that recording and answer your question in one of the upcoming episodes.  If you play one of our episodes in your Sunday School class and then have your students ask questions on our voice mail, then you can play the answers in your class and the students will hear their voice and my answer to their question.  It goes a long way to help children get a burden for missions when a missionary takes time to answer their questions.  Try it out and see what I am talking about!  The voice mail number is (936) 553-5234, or if you prefer to send your question by e-mail, the address is feedback@consfords.com.

That brings us to the end of this week’s episode of Missionary on Fire.  From our mission field to your mission field, have a great week and God bless!

[New Post] Introducing Missionary on Fire School of Missions

What is Missionary on Fire School of Missions?  Let me explain what this is and I hope that you will prayerfully join in our conversations to promote missions through this online school of missions which will be a school of missions by veteran missionaries for new and aspiring missionaries.

Our goal with Missionary on Fire Podcast is to encourage men and women to get on fire for the Lord in these end times.  I cannot wait to hear from someone that has listened to the show to give a testimony that they were listening to a veteran missionary and God touched their heart and called them to go somewhere where they could tell someone who would have never heard the Gospel.

Then, I thought about all of the wisdom that is being shared by these great missionaries.  They have been over the mountain and through the woods; and they have learned so much about missions.  I get the privilege of talking with them and then listening to their words of wisdom multiple times as I edit the audio and prepare the show notes for each show.  It sure would be nice to have an online course for missionaries on how to do things.

I have had a burden for a while to have a “how to” kind of blog for missionaries.  I am calling it, Missionary on Fire School of Missions. I am not saying that I know how to do everything!  I am however after almost fifteen years getting pretty good at how not to do things.  I believe that is what Thomas Edison said about inventing the light bulb; when he was asked about his 10,000 failed attempts, he responded, “I have not failed 10,000 times, but rather I have discovered 10,000 ways that this will not work.”  So, I am going to do some series of blog posts about different areas in the life of a missionary.  Some of the articles I will write myself and in areas that I am not qualified or I have seen someone do something much better, I will ask people to write an article on that subject.

I will be posting these articles each week; and then in our monthly newsletter, I will put all of the articles together so that you can use them as you see fit.  It is my hope that you would share these articles with people in your life.

Starting this week, every Tuesday, the Lord willing, I will be sharing one of these articles with you whether it is written by myself or by a guest writer.  If you have a burden to write about something concerning missions, please contact me at feedback@missionaryonfire.com. If you have more questions about being a guest writer for Missionary on Fire, then please refer to the instructions about guest posts at MissionaryOnFire.com/guestpost.

As I said before, I will be developing these articles topic by topic; if there is a specific topic you would like for us to address, please e-mail me at the same address, and I will prayerfully consider your request.

In closing, I would like to ask you to prayerfully consider joining in on these conversations through the comment section that can be found below each post.  I just know that the Lord is going to use Missionary on Fire School of Missions in a mighty way!

Encore Episode – #002 – Frank Drown

 photo FrankMarieDrown_zpscf9d7791.jpgIt is my great privilege to introduce you to Frank and Marie Drown! They have been friends of my family for many years, and I am honored to have them as the first guests on Missionary on Fire!

Frank and Marie Drown went to the mission field in 1944, and have done great things for the Lord in these many years. Frank was influential in the the call of God on the life of Roger Youderian. Frank and Roger worked side by side for several years. When Operation Auca seemed to have failed with the deaths of Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian, Frank was the one who was called to search for their bodies. It was Frank who prayed and read the Word of God over their hastily dug graves in the jungles of Ecuador. Frank and Marie worked closely with the wives of these men as they worked to reach the headhunters of Ecuador.

I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I did!

Quote:
“Knowing the need of a people that are lost and have no Bible or anyone telling them about the Gospel is enough to make you want to leave home, learn a language, and communicate the Gospel to the people who need it most.” – Missionary Frank Drown

Bible Verse:
Matthew 28:18-20
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Failure and Lessons:
Listen as Missionary Frank Drown tells about his first attempt to preach the Gospel to a group of headhunters. He started to tell them about John 3:16 but could not keep their attention. He was able to reach them, but you have to hear him tell how he was able to communicate the Gospel to these people.

Memories:
He has fond memories of many experiences, and he tells us one of his favorites about Chief Santiago! Listen to Missionary Frank Drown tell us how the Gospel changed this man’s life.

Can you tell us about the moment you realized why God called you to the mission field?
Missionary Frank Drown thanks God for his childhood experiences of fox hunting and for being short.

Goals as a missionary:
Missionary Frank Drown tells about how the introduction of Missions Aviation greatly improved his ability to reach more people with the gospel. Marie tells us about their prayer that the headhunters would quit headhunting and how Chief Santiago was instrumental in the peace coming to the jungle!

What if you were a young person today and felt God calling you to the mission field?
Missionary Frank Drown tells about how he would prepare to go to the mission field.

Resources:
Through Gates of Splendor

Mission to the Headhunters

John and Betty Stam: A story of triumph

J. Hudson Taylor God’s Man in China

The Life and African Exploration of David Livingstone

Contact:
You can contact them to order their books, which I highly recommend reading. Frank is a great story teller! The names of their books are Mission to the Head Hunters and Unmarked Memories.

Frank and Marie Drown
fdrown@avmi.org
(816) 348-7952
http://missiontotheheadhunters.com/

Farewell:
Study God’s Word and ask God to speak to us and then just be surrendered to do the will of God no matter where He sends you.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to Missionary on Fire this week. If you could take a moment to leave a comment about how this week’s missionary testimony has blessed you, I would greatly appreciate it. To leave a comment on this week’s episode, go to MissionaryOnFire.com/002, scroll down to the bottom, and leave your comment there. If you would rather leave the comment on Facebook, you can visit MissionaryOnFire.com/facebook. If you use twitter, I have already set up a great tweet for you; all you have to do is go to MissionaryOnFre.com/tweet , and there is a tweet ready for you to send. If you prefer to send a good old e-mail, the address is feedback@missionaryonfire.com. I cannot wait to hear from you!

MissionaryOnFire.com is now starting to send a monthly newsletter. If you would like to sign up for the newsletter, you may do so by going to MissionaryOnFire.com/subscribe. You do not want to miss a single episode.

Don’t forget about Joe’s Podcast; go to MissionaryOnFire.com/joespodcast. In Joe’s Podcast, our goal is to help you build a better relationship with us as missionaries. You can call and ask questions on our voice mail; we will play that recording and answer your question in one of the upcoming episodes. If you play one of our episodes in your Sunday School class and then have your students ask questions on our voice mail, then you can play the answers in your class and the students will hear their voice and my answer to their question. It goes a long way to help children get a burden for missions when a missionary takes time to answer their questions. Try it out and see what I am talking about! The voice mail number is (936) 553-5234, or if you prefer to send your question by e-mail, the address is feedback@consfords.com.

That brings us to the end of this week’s episode of Missionary on Fire.

From our mission field to your mission field, have a great week and God bless!

Missionary Joe Consford