The Shumaker Family's Blog

Better late than never!

I should have put this update on Sunday. Sunday we had a great day at church. I no longer feel like I am just a missionary here. I am really beginning to feel like a pastor. That may seem like a weird statement, but let me explain. Since coming to the field we really have never felt that we have a strong church family. Now, we are excited when we get to go to church. We want to be with our people. There are missionaries (not sure what they are actually doing) here that don’t even go to church or don’t go faithfully. They have church at home. I told our church that if I did that I would be in America. Most churches don’t have a Sunday night service. Outside of going to church most of the missionaries don’t want to be close to the people they work with. I’m not sure if it is fear of being hurt, lied to or stole from (I have faced all three many times) but the relationship is weak or non-existent. Again, I told the church that if I couldn’t be close to them I wouldn’t live here. It does make you vulnerable but then we have to ask the question, “Why am I here?” I don’t want to be a normal missionary. I want to rejoice when they rejoice, cry when they cry, hurt when they hurt because God has allowed me to be their shepherd. After church, my wife used to say, “Are you ready to go yet?” That doesn’t happen any more. I have finished talking to everybody and packed up the car. Then, I look for my wife. I just wait with joy in my heart for her to come. I definitely am not all that I need to be and I need to do much, much more, but I praise God for the love he has given my family for our church family.

2 Responses to “Better late than never!”

  1. Jason Rishel Says:

    Brother Keith,
    You have no idea how thankful I am for you. I think it is hard to truly find a missionary of God who is as dedicated and burdened for Him as you are. Your love for the Africans is obvious, and I pray that God will one day give me as much love and care as you have. Thank you for being a true example for us to follow.

  2. David Lundy Says:

    Well, it is no doubt that God has the right man there.

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