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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
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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



but cannot communicate on a personal level
until we become more fluent in the language.

The days still come when the language is
frustrating and communication fails—days
where one does not utter a word because no
one would understand my native language.

Through those random bad, crazy, or difficult
days, God stays faithful and continually
reminds me of my true purpose and why I am
learning this crazy language that goes from
squiggly lines to sounds then eventually words.

Everyone has bad days, but a single missionary
gets to have her bad days in a foreign country,
seeing God take care of her in His sweet and
loving way. My favorite is when God allows my
reactions to happen in Thai and not English.

Those are the moments God says, “See, you are
getting it, word by word!”
Being away from family is a struggle that
comes in waves and occasionally as a tsunami
on holidays. Thank the Lord for the ability
to FaceTime, email, and communicate with
modern technology! My mother can and has
called me anytime of the day (accidental 1 a.m.

calls are not so great) and I do not have to miss a
nephew’s first birthday party, even though I am
literally on the other side of the planet. On the
flip side, I will not be there for the new babies to
be born or to get a hug from my little nieces and
nephews, but they are getting to see what real
life looks like on the mission field and know
that their aunt is exactly where God wants her.

country. I am able to see Christ’s love from a
totally foreign perspective and experience God
work in my life as I serve in Thailand.

Just like women in churches in America, I teach
classes, sing in the choir, cook food, clean the
church building, encourage the church family,
and do so many other things that come with
being part of a church family. On the mission
field, often there are not many examples of
godly women in everyday life, encouraging
new believers and showing them how to
put what they hear on Sunday into practice
Monday through Saturday. Sometimes, simply
having another person to be a genuine example
can make all the difference in a ministry. It is
so easy for local people to think one is different
because of skin color but having another
example can be the beginning of those same
people seeing that Christ is our common
ground, not skin color or culture.

The heart of a single missionary is simply to
serve and encourage. God uses different tools
to accomplish His work and I know a single
missionary is thankful to be one of His many
tools. Thank you for praying for us and the
ministries we have all over the world. Pray for
our walk with God to be strengthened, our new
language to be understood and spoken, and for
our hearts to be seen by the many people we
are trying to reach. W
There are many things that singles get to do
differently, such as traveling on deputation
without kids (much less stressful), studying
the language more consistently, teaching extra
classes, and meeting a different set of people in
the community. A single woman may not pastor
a church but she can still go into all the world,
proclaiming the truth of Christ. Is not that the
purpose of missions? As a single woman, I
have the opportunity to live out God’s greatest
privilege of serving our Savior in another
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