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A Day in the Life of a Missionary

by AdelFi

Experience A Day in the Life of a Missionary

May 1, 2017

Growing up in California, before they were even drawn to each other, Adam and Anna shared a love for the Pacific Ocean and all things outdoors. While in college, training together for triathlons, they also discovered their shared desire to spread Christ’s love past the borders of that ocean. 

Soon, they put these plans into motion—with Adam earning a PhD in New Testament, Anna working toward a Masters in counseling—and both of them falling in love. Not necessarily in that order.

It all made sense. Get married, finish school, and head to the mission field. 

Since our decision to live abroad as missionaries, we've had a blatant realization that we are not in control. But during their engagement, Adam was stunned with news that he would eventually need a liver transplant. And within their first year of marriage, he became gravely ill.  Anna recalls how they started their life together with a sobering reality of ‘in sickness and in health’, “but it forged our relationship deeply, and made our vows and commitment that much more meaningful. “

Through a variety of ways, The Lord brought healing to Adam without a transplant. And although he still has the condition, he has become healthier than he was previously.

“Things that demand a lot of people tend to make them more useful,” Anna explained, “and although I wouldn’t choose that for the beginning of anyone’s marriage, it did strengthen us in many ways.”

A Brand New Day

With plans back on track, they researched pan-Pacific ministry opportunities in the Philippines—at just about the time they welcomed the birth of baby Luke to their family.

Anna laughs as she recalls, “Since our decision to live abroad as missionaries, we’ve had a blatant realization that we are not in control. And there is something very good about that, because we feel we really have to actively trust God for everything.”

They were both hoping for children, knowing they would be an important part of missionary life. “It’s exciting for Luke to have a front row seat in what God is doing in the world, seeing people coming to know the Gospel for the first time.”

She went on to explain, “It’s not like we’re doing this because we feel really comfortable at it. It’s more that God made a place for us to contribute our gifts…so we’re taking that next step of faith to see how he uses us.”

What was once a barrier had become a bridge.  By fall 2017, they would be in country. Anna and Adam began talking with mission sending agency, WorldVenture, about becoming part of their well-established teaching efforts in the Philippines—training leaders holistically to be sent out to reach the unreached in Asia. Adam could put his PhD to work teaching future pastors, and Anna saw an opportunity to invest her skills as a teacher and counselor into training Luke as well as ministering to the families of Asian students.

The Days had been encouraged by many missionary friends to join an agency of people that they really want to work with—so they visited the WorldVenture national conference for a week and spoke to everyone they could find. “That time together really confirmed it,” Anna confessed. “These are people we want to link arms with.”

Timing is Everything

“God is so kind not to ask us to make this one big leap, but he’s allowed us to take these smaller steps where he’s been preparing us, affirming our decision, and clearing away barriers during the entire journey.”

Adam and Anna were ready to go about 2 years ago, but they still didn’t have a clear direction as to where they should go.
“Seeing how God’s worked to make that clear within WorldVenture, and seeing how he’s provided all of the resources we need…it makes this direction and decision undeniable.”

Those steps brought many confirmations during their preparations for ministry—even changing their perspective of the Pacific Ocean. Now they splashed along the beach energized at how this same water was also touching where they wanted to be—the Philippines.

What was once a barrier had become a bridge. By fall 2017, they would be in country.

10 Boxes To Go

One of their final steps, included a final purge—the obligatory garage sale familiar to most every missionary. During the sale this past spring, seeing their life condensed down to 10 boxes, made the move, and this decision, decidedly real to them.

“I don’t think of myself as someone who’s attached to a lot of things,” Anna explained, “but I did find that our garage sale was a strong physical representation of the bigger changes going on. The excitement of fulfilling this years-long dream is invigorating, but what I didn’t expect was this process of grieving for the life that we are leaving here. Leaving our family, friends and community is where we really feel the tearing.”

“People ask if we’re excited to finally be taking the next step and moving, fulfilling this years-long dream of working overseas. And yes, it is exciting, but what I didn’t expect was this process of grieving for the life that we are leaving here.”

She went on to explain “It’s not that we are not concerned—but we are trusting God. There are things ahead that we can’t know, but we know God’s got it, and he’ll take care of us.”

All in the family

But they would not have step alone into the unknown—thanks to their strong and supportive family and community at home, and the WorldVenture family of missionaries.

“In the midst of this new chapter, we also have history that links us to people at home who help us in meaningful ways—including financially and prayerfully, as you would expect.”

And, Anna said they also found support in something as practical as banking. For nearly 10 years Anna worked on staff with Evangelical Christian Credit Union, and she still carries a deep appreciation for the long and strong commitment AdelFi has toward serving missionaries. 

She recalled the reason she came on board initially, and what kept her there. “At AdelFi, missionaries are seen as family, and they are protected and provided for in that way.” Even she was surprised to learn AdelFi saved missionary members more than $1 million last year in international fees*.

“That’s particularly meaningful to us, now that we’re on the other end facing foreign transaction fees and trying to figure out how to bank from thousands of miles away.”

From stewardship to investing, and everyday interaction, I appreciate knowing there is a biblical perspective being applied to my finances. Banking with AdelFi means an investment in something I believe in, rather than the whims of a secular financial institution.”

“When Jesus talked about money, one of the verses that stands out to me is, ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matt 6:21).’” Anna believes it’s a matter of putting your money where your heart is.

Adam and Anna are currently completing language training in the U.S. before they leave full-time for Manila in just a few months. As the Days prepare for their permanent assignment in the Philippines, here’s an opportunity for you to help this vibrant family.

Share the Day’s story with friends and missionaries as we stand together with this vibrant family. If you would like to support the Days with additional prayer or financial support, please visit their profile page at WorldVenture.

Category: Missionary Minded