Since I announced I was going into full time missions in Honduras last year, many people wonder why I haven’t left yet. Truly, I’d love to be there yesterday if it were possible, but as with every big decision, there is a process, and below I’ll try and answer the most common questions I receive:
Basically a fancy word for raising prayer and financial support. "Deputation," according to Merriam-Webster dictionary, means: “a group of people who are sent to a place to represent other people.” As a missionary, I, along with Team Honduras, are a group of people who are sent to Honduras to share the gospel and start churches. We represent Christians and churches across the US who have chosen to partner with us prayerfully and financially. Of course these churches and individuals can’t send us if they don’t know who we are, so I have to contact them. As an Independent Baptist, deputation means that I call dozens of churches in many states, asking to present my plans and requesting their monthly financial support. The churches can then decide whether they would like me to be their “deputy” (or representative) to the Deaf in Honduras. Often churches will vote after I have left to decide whether they would like to financially support me monthly. With each new “supporting church” I am one step closer to being financially supported as a full time missionary to Honduras. Deputation usually involves many hours of traveling from church to church and around 1-3 years to raise enough funds to leave for the mission field, depending on the size of the missionary family, and the location of the mission field.
“Do you travel by yourself?”
Yes. It's not as bad as it sounds. I enjoy listening to preaching, music, and the Bible in Spanish as the miles pass. Without a second driver, I'm careful to take breaks, and not drive too much in one day. Occasionally a friend or family member will accompany me as I drive from church to church and that’s a blessing. Single missionaries are still somewhat of an enigma in Baptist circles, though they are becoming more common. (Pic: a frequent sight as I drive between cities on deputation.)
“Where do you stay?”
I stay in one of three places; with friends (this is the most common), or in prophet’s chambers, or in a hotel. Prophet’s chambers can be the size of an apartment to a small house, and are simply designed as a place where missionaries can stay for one or several days as they travel. At other times, a hosting church will book a hotel room for me during the days I will be presenting at their church. (Pic: a wonderful hostess I stayed with in April)
“How far do you go?”
So far, I’ve driven as far south as Florida, as far west as Ohio, and as far north as Pennsylvania. I usually schedule some presentations in churches along the route, and stay with a friend or two, making the drive more manageable.
(Picture: I drove through some beautiful Amish country on my way to a church in OH.)
“How can we pray for you?”
Please pray for my safety as I travel from church to church, wisdom on scheduling churches, clarity as I speak to pastors and churches, and rest as I constantly learn to adapt to wherever I am.
For me, deputation has been a wonderful learning and growing experience. The hardest part has been the complete lack of routine, as every day is different. I have been challenged personally, spiritually, doctrinally, physically, and mentally, and have learned to trust God through each challenge. I can’t wait to arrive in Honduras, but I know this is exactly where God wants me at this time. Feel free to ask me if you have any other questions!