This blog post was written for Blooming with Joy's website
as a guest writer.
The "gift-a-way" is expired but ...
The "gift-a-way" is expired but ...
Re-posting it for anyone who may have missed it.
Blessed by you,
Heart Confessions of a Missions Writer
By Shelli Littleton
Typhoon Haiyan pummeled my heart along with the Philippines. Why? I have had the privilege of interviewing missionaries there and sharing their stories with the world. A missionary friend wrote to assure me that she was back in the U.S. for a visit; she was safe from destruction. But where was her heart? Yes; she longed to return to the Philippines to help.
Yes, writing for Woman’s Missionary Union’s magazine, Missions Mosaic, keeps my heart feeling a broad spectrum of emotions. My most embarrassing moment, you might ask? I couldn’t retrieve an email from Melissa Moore … Beth Moore’s daughter! I couldn’t believe God had opened this sweet door for me to write on her Compassion International India trip, and I can’t get her email. My husband had set up “outlook” for my email. I had to actually go on-line to view her email, and it took me a while and my husband to figure this out. She was so gracious. Me? H-u-m-i-l-i-a-t-e-d! I no longer use “outlook.”
My funniest moment happened while interviewing a young Brazilian missionary on mission in Africa. We spoke on the phone. Wow! She could speak a little English; I could speak no Portuguese. We laughed ourselves silly. Ending our conversation, I said, “I’ll let you go”; Texas translation: I would hang up the phone. And she laughed out loud. I realized she was thinking, “You’ll let me go … where?”
My heart’s greatest overjoy was derived from Ron Hall, author of Same Kind of Different As Me. I had read the book, and Ron said he would do an interview. Thrilled! I couldn’t believe when my caller ID declared: Ron Hall. I told him his book made me want to give him and Denver Moore big hugs. During that same time, he came to my church to speak. Sheer God-thing. I had the opportunity to write yet another article on him for our church newsletter. When I walked into the Visitor’s Center where Ron was autographing books, he greeted me with a big hug. I was overjoyed and couldn’t function properly the entire day! He had not forgotten my request for a hug.
When did my heart cry most? Challenged to write an article about a child forced into marriage and giving birth at ten years old brought me to tears. This precious child, who should have been chasing butterflies and dancing on her daddy’s toes, was living in a Nigerian, Muslim, lower-class society. Because her body was not ready for childbirth, she was left with a permanent limp and a chronic leakage of human waste. This is common. Their babies often die as they die to society. They are divorced … outcasts; but there is hope through Christ. One child said, “Rayuwu ba tare da Isa ba, ban’zane, na gan Isa, na taba shi, nakuma zama da shi,” which translates: “Life without Jesus is a miserable life. I have seen, touched, and even leave with your Jesus.”
My most heart-humbling moments writing for WMU are when I am blessed to share my own personal hardships of infertility, miscarriage, daughter’s cancer battle at one year old, parents’ divorce, and adoption stories. I thank God for taking the very things Satan would have loved to have used to destroy me and using them for ministry.
My future heart confession? My heart is breaking and overjoyed that my dearest friend is leaving on a jet plane this coming year for Asia. Though she will be missed terribly here, what I wouldn’t give to write an article on her work there!
*Update ... my dear friend made it to East Asia, and I got to write that article on her. Glory.