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20 Questions to End 2020 - Part 1

Welcome to the end of 2020. You made it. We know you’re curious, and you want to know how your missionaries handled 2020. Just how did they stay on mission? You want to hear about all the ups and downs, the lock-downs, the show-downs protesting against mask wearing, and, quite frankly, the low-down on it all. 

Fear not, we’ve compiled a list of 20 questions to end 2020 and asked some of our missionaries serious questions . . . some not-so-serious. Enjoy getting a snapshot from 20 different missionaries in 14 different countries to end 2020.

1) What was one of the moments you were most proud of this year?
“I am most proud of the moment I realized that my support raising coaching had finally paid off in the lives of two staff members—who dealt with issues of spiritual calling and needed to make huge leaps in their support raising [one person even hit 100% for the next year]!”—Josh Nelson, Czech Republic

2) When were you genuinely surprised this last year?
“My most surprising moment was when Johnny scared me in the shower and I screamed as if I were about to die. On a more serious note, when we met in March as the Training Team, our opening question was, “What would you do if you were quarantined for two weeks?” I had no idea this would be our reality 4 days later. Let’s just say I didn’t play darts once!”—Brooke Stevens, Slovenia

3) What did you learn from something that didn’t go well this year?
“I didn’t learn anything because I was stuck inside all year. But actually, as time went on, I realized that I really didn’t know how to communicate with my family. Quarantine helped me learn how to improve my communications skills with the people I live with.”—Asher Hartman, JVK, Czech Republic

4) What was your most overrated success (i.e. something you thought would feel great that was sort of a let down)?
“During the pandemic, I brought my team together as much as possible with the goal of relational growth through extended time together. I thought being all together was great; however, because I didn’t have a plan for their relational growth, the result was more tension than growth. Now, I am repairing it!”—Juljan Muhameti, Albania

5) What conversation was most memorable in 2020? What made it stick with you so powerfully?
“There was some tension on our youth group team due to a conflict. But through being honest about it, willingness to listen, and open hearts submitted to God, in the end, both sides apologized and rebuilt their relationship. God reminded me that in his family there is always hope for brokenness to be mended.”—Denisa Harcarova, Slovakia

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    6) If you had to articulate a mantra for 2020, what would it be?
    “The toughest challenges bring the most needed changes. Only when we lose what we ‘love’ most are we forced to look in the mirror and make the changes we truly need.”—Scott Molvar, Croatia

    7) What is one question that you found yourself asking over and over again this year?
    “During this year as things have been in a constant state of change and uncertainty, I’ve continued to ask the question, ‘What is God doing in this?’ I’ve wondered what things look like from his perspective and how my responses to constant change in 2020 would bring him the most glory.”—Melissa Hillman, Bulgaria 

    8) What recently reminded you of how fast time flies?
    “In Leipzig, we graduated our second full cycle of teens from our youth group.  It seems like only yesterday they were short, skinny freshmen with braces.  Now, tall, muscular young men and beautiful young ladies will launch out into the world taking a gap year to invest in ministry; they are leading another youth group, volunteering in after school programs, and serving in a minimal confinement Christian prison ministry.”—Jim Miller, Germany

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    9) If you could quarantine anywhere, where would it be and why?
    “I would quarantine with my parents in their cozy home in Charleston, SC. First of all, my mom is a really good cook and creates delicious delicacies. Secondly, I love watching movies with my parents (Star Wars with my dad and Hallmark with my mom), and, lastly, I would read books to my mom out loud because of her low vision. In reality, I had to quarantine by myself this year because I live alone, so the thought of being with family during lockdown brings joy to my heart.”—Gwynne Gardner, Czech Republic 

    10) What habit has the pandemic caused you to strengthen this year (ie . . habit of prayer, love, submission to suffering, guarding the good trust, or friendship)?
    “During the pandemic, my wife and I made a habit of praying together on a regular basis before going to bed. It’s been really good for me to go to bed thanking God for how he is working, lifting up to God those who are hurting, and trusting that God is listening, at work, and loving amidst everything going on.”—Eric Meland, Hungary

    To read the second part of this article, click here



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