Parents and Missions (long rant)

talking with my parents about missions is frustrating. At first, safety seems to be the biggest issue, but it’s not. At first, talking about SEASP, the response I get is that I need the government doesn’t want people there sharing the gospel. Therefore, you’ll get kidnapped and who knows what? Second, they said the summer project website is just a flashy website and that if I do get kidnapped, epic will have forced us to sign some petition saying it’s not their fault if anything happens. third, they said that people will try and trick you in SEA so they can get close to you and take you away. They’ll try to convince me that they’re accepting what I’m sharing and then try and get to me and blackmail my parents. When bringing up alternate projects to safer places, my dad said they’d talk about it again, to see whether it was worth it. 

Then onto the topic of money. My dad’s first comment? How can the trip cost 4100? I brought up the example of someone else’s trip that was 20 days for 2100. How can a 6-week trip not cost 4100? My dad said that it’s a luxury to for me to go overseas and spend that much money to do this. While it’s a “noble cause,” you don’t need to go and risk your life for other people. You need to think about yourself, and this isn’t worth it. On top of all this, he said that because it’s a luxury, that he wouldn’t support me financially for this trip at all, no matter where the trip is to. When I graduate my from optometry school, if I want to do it then, then they’ll support me financially. 

However, neither of these issues is what really frustrates me. What frustrates me most is that my parents and I cannot see eye to eye on God and who he is. I feel like I’m waging a constant war with my parents, like they’re the enemy and I have to crush their spirits so that I can share with people about Jesus. I feel like they’re a wall or a obstacle to overcome. I seriously envy people who have parents who are believers. In this same situation, that child can still appeal to the truth that is in the bible with parents who are believers. If the parents continue to reject the notion of going on missions, it will be on the parents’ lack of faith and belief in God, not the child’s fault. I have no common ground when it comes talking about my priorities. To them, their question to me is, “Does optometry school come first? Or does serving God come first?” Frankly, they won’t understand that those two are one and the same, and the response I get from them when I say “serving God” is explosive. Of course they’ll think this is a luxury! They can’t see how incredibly important it is to pursue a relationship with Jesus. They don’t know that life is about more than just your security, safety, comfort, and status. My parents don’t boast of success or riches; they want a simple life without any strings attached. But their are riches stored in heaven that we’re promised, and I want them to see that.

In a nutshell, right now, and for the last 4 years, I feel like I’ve lived my life in a way where I need to appease my parents to survive. But thinking this way gives me guilt because it makes me recognize my selfishness and ungratefulness. 

I mentioned yesterday to Tiara that ultimately, the goal isn’t to get permission to go on a summer project; it’s to continue minister to my parents and present my faith to them clearly. I want to boldly proclaim my life as a follower of Jesus Christ to them, and part of the reason I wanted to go on this trip was so that I could demonstrate the change that happens when you follow Jesus Christ. To be completely honest, I think I’ve been motivated to go on a missions trip mostly because I want to challenge my parents’ understanding of how we live life – that our life doesn’t belong to us, but it belongs to God. But right now, it’s hard to remember that’s my purpose. 

Last thing: I feel really anxious right now because unlike epic, I don’t have a strategic plan that I can use or create to plan out how to minister to my parents for the next three years. I’m completely lost. 

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One thought on “Parents and Missions (long rant)

  1. tiara March 3, 2013 / 7:11 pm

    even if your parents were Christian, they could very well be using the same arguments (my parents definitely would), and it’s just as heartbreaking to Christ to see lack of faith and hardened hearts, no matter whose they are. in fact, it’s even more saddening if it is a believer who refuses to trust in God.

    i’m kind of glad your parents aren’t just letting you go. in hashing this through with them, i see this as a really great opportunity you have. this is your first huge chance to really talk to them about your faith in application to decisions you want to make and values you hold, ever since january. don’t discredit the conversations you’re having and don’t be frustrated that they don’t agree with you. this is a chance God’s giving you to be a witness in the way you respect them as your parents despite the disagreements and in the words you share. this is your missional opportunity. you would get excited at any other chance to share your faith with a nonbeliever, so you can think of this kind of similarly and treat it the same way – as a blessing from God and a time to pray hard and depend on His Spirit to work.

    i’m proud of you. keep praying and trust Him! God’s using this for His glory, no matter what the outcome turns out to be. =)

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