The Daily Habit of Every Missionary

Daily habit with love

For church planters like us, we face what seems to be a sea of endless challenges. As we approach our 9th month on the field, on a weekly basis, we face challenges that could easily deter our faith. These aren’t the challenges of physical suffering, persecution, or even the cultural challenges we faced in China. In some way, those challenges almost seem as if they would be more acceptable. No, these are the small sufferings of every church planter or missionary…the challenges of unmet expectations, frustrating new processes to learn, the absence of deep friendships and support systems, and other complications that seemed to be simple tasks in our last season.

Church planter training is both helpful and necessary, but nothing could completely prepare us for all of the details involved in planting a church in a new culture. Without Christ, we could easily become overwhelmed by our transition and be consumed by trivial tasks. Some days it seems like it would be easier to sacrifice our time with God and spend more time figuring it out ourselves. But in the midst of these difficulties, we seek refuge in God’s Word and find hope in Him alone…even if we sometimes enter His presence with more complaints than thanksgiving.

We are continually convinced that abiding in Christ is the only way we can survive. When we venture outside of our comfort zone into a life of obedience and faith, we begin to realize how our daily time with Jesus is critical for our spiritual health.

Even though Kathy and I share the same transitional experience to Seattle, we have processed it uniquely. We are two people living in the same house and walking through this together (with three little people), yet leaning into Christ with unique personal needs and desires.

Kathy is an amazing wife and mother with a seemingly endless job. From packing lunches, getting kids ready, driving to and from schools and appointments, leading a weekly ESL Bible study, teaching fitness classes, building relationships in the community, serving in and through our church(s), and putting up with me…I don’t know how she does it all.

Meanwhile, I am in my element in some ways, but trying to “figure it out” in so many others. No office to administrate, no late-night calls to the hospital, and no staff to lead…I find myself in some ways robbed of an identity (…an unhealthy identity I might add). The expectations I had in place were (and are being) quickly replaced by the reality of planting a church in the Pacific North West. 

We have no way of knowing what doors God is going to open for us. However, when He opens them, He expects us to walk through them…trusting Him throughout the journey. Over the past couple months, God has opened a door for us to step into The Landing Church, a five-year old church plant in need of an interim pastor. Each week, we see the positive results of that obedient step.  We are praying that God would give us clarity for the long-term vision and direction for The Landing Church as we work to plant Awakening Church later this year.

Never has our daily time with Jesus been more critical for our spiritual well-being.

In this season, we are rediscovering what we already knew as truth. We cannot live without feasting daily on God’s Word, abiding in Jesus, and spending focused time in prayer. Attending a gospel-centered church does not adequately strengthen us for everyday challenges. Simply being part of a team of Great Commission focused people is not enough to calm our anxious hearts. Instead, the assurance of the presence of God and the God-breathed wisdom of Scripture protect us from being immobilized by the challenges of the mission field. One day at a time, one relationship at a time, one gospel conversation at a time…God’s plan is unfolding for us. We rest and abide in him.

Thank you for partnering with us for the sake of the gospel. God is at work! 

Please join us in praying for the following things:

  1. Our family and the daily challenges of living on the mission field.
  2. The time-line and relationships as we move toward planting Awakening Church later this year.
  3. The long-term vision and direction for The Landing Church.
This entry was posted in Church Planting, Missions, Spiritual Growth by @jonaheasley. Bookmark the permalink.

About @jonaheasley

I serve as the pastor of Awakening Church in Bellevue, WA. It's been a blessing to have been surrounded by such great leaders and men of God who have invested in my life from such an early age. Being raised a pastor kid, I have been saturated with the word of God since day one. At the age of 7, God showed me that it was through a relationship with Jesus Christ alone that my life could be made righteous. From the mountain tops to the valleys, God continues to give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to lead and guide those around me. Understanding that I am following the leadership of Christ. My wife and I have a passion and love for people and are privileged to be able to serve people for His Glory. Kathy and I were married on August 2, 2003 in Atlanta, GA. God has blessed us with three amazing children, Evan, Adele, and Elijah.

7 thoughts on “The Daily Habit of Every Missionary

  1. Wow, I stand amazed in the Presence of God. Last night God woke me up and brought you and Kathy, and your sweet kids in mind. I prayed and prayed for God’s provision, guidance for you guys. Love you guys. Praying for you.


  2. Well spoken brother. One step at a time, following Him as he leads and trusting him with the uncertainties. In walking that path, we get to see God do His work. We get a front-row seat. No better life than the one lived in radical obedience. Keep it up & keep writing


  3. Jonah thank u for sharing your heart with us concerning the awesome responsibility you and Kathy have on a daily basis. I am sure you all feel like staying on your knees in order for our God to continually fill you with His presence. It must b a constant battle trying to keep all bases covered BUT….we know we serve a mighty God who loves us and will b faithful in meeting our every need. We pray for u all daily and we are confident God hears us. We know He has placed you all there to share His love with those in your area. Remain your calling and God will remain faithful to you all . We send lots of love and cover you with prayer each day. Get ready for another wonderful birthday


  4. Jonah, Thanks for this word. Something I needed as well right now. It’s funny that after 18 years at the Central Campus that walking into NW campus suddenly threw me into the same sort of identity crisis…no handles to grab! Now I have the same choice of just working harder to put some familiar handles in place or stop reading for handles and just rest in the Lord. This week is my 20 year anniversary at Castle Hills Church and most weeks I feel like a new church planter- not exactly sure what to do next. This is a good grounding word…to cling to God’s word. Praying for you guys as you follow His calling.


  5. We r praying extra hard for you as you have full responsibility of the children while Kathy is in GA. May God’s Grace abound. Much love

    Sent from my iPhone



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