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by Amie Richard There is nothing spectacular about being a missionary. I am called to follow God’s command just like every other Christian. When asked what I do on the mission field, my response is “Exactly what I do in America, except in Thailand.” Obviously, ministering in Thailand is different but the principle is the same. There are primarily two things one can do in a church, pastor or help the pastor. Single missionaries are to help and encourage the pastor and his family. I enjoy getting to do exactly what God called me to do—every day. I may not be a single missionary forever (no one can predict the future), but until that changes, I love the benefits and flexibility of being single and in ministry. Starting the missions trail as a single comes with many preconceived ideas. Walking alone into a new church to present a burden for a faraway country can be scary. I will never forget the first time a pastor asked me if I were going to the mission field to “homeschool kids.” The pastor was relieved when my answer was “No.” It was as if the notion of a single woman going to do something other than watch children was an exciting new idea. The idea is not new, maybe just forgotten. No matter the missionary, God has a unique field for each and allows him or her to go through different experiences in order to prepare him or her for that field. Many assume a single woman who has surrendered to the mission field is simply 12 BIMI WORLD Number 3, 2017 seeking a way to avoid the problem of not being married. This could not be further from the truth! A single woman missionary gets to live out the reality that marriage can be part of God’s plan, but it is not the goal. My goal is to serve the Lord and if He decides I should do that with a husband—great—but if not, then God is already fulfilling my needs and helping me to live out the dream of a life with divine purpose. Often, the countries where single missionaries are serving have a culture that believes all Americans are wealthy and at a higher social status. This can attract men who do not have pure intentions of a loving, biblical marriage, but who wish for a “ticket” to America. Going to the mission field is a step of faith for anyone, and for the single woman it is truly putting her whole future into God’s hands and trusting Him to lead. I know many young single women serving on the mission field who still have the desire to be married if God works it out, but they would never trade living out God’s will for marriage. For all the amazing or sometimes silly things that come with being a single missionary, there are some things that can be difficult. Loneliness is often the first to be brought up when talking to other single missionaries—along with learning the language. These seem to go together during the early years on the field because the ability to communicate greatly affects the ability to build relationships. We meet so many people