Many people questioned if she was losing it. Her house, furniture, and belongings all had been sold. Once a stay-at-home mother and now she was preparing to move to Germany — a ten-year process was finally coming to a climax.
Missionary Intern Gale Beach responded to the call of God by giving up most of her things and most of her comforts. It all started when she was studying at the University of Bristol in England. She had recently gone through a divorce and decided to get a master’s in social work. She was studying social policy in England, surrounded by beautiful scenery and magnificent church buildings. Although pleasing to the eyes, she felt that the churches were cold and empty. Here, she felt her heart be drawn more and more to Europe.
This drawing caused her to apply to become a missionary as soon as she got back home. She went on a short-term mission trip, raised funds, and was working 40 to 50 hours a week. This routine went on for ten years.
Beach spent those years counting the cost of what her decision to move to Germany would look like. She knew the road of being a disciple would not be easy and people questioned her decision.
“I sought God’s will for my life and I sought where He was leading me and just asked Him to take me out of His way,” she said. “That’s what I would tell people…when your eyes are on Christ and what He wants to do through you, you don’t make wrong decisions.”
The cost did not stop mounting while she was in the field. Last June, she received a call that her brother passed away. Since she could not back it back home for a month, the family waited for her return before holding a funeral. Months later, her uncle, who was like a father to her, passed away and Beach watched the funeral on live stream, thousands of miles from her loved ones.
She says that being away also puts her family in a position to lose some moments as well.
“Those are some of the sacrifices that people don’t see, but God’s our comfort and gets us through these things,” she said.
Through the journey it took to get her to Germany and the journey the experience is taking her on now, Beach says that everything that she gave up does not measure close to what she has gained by being there.
“I come alive when I’m working in missions,” she said.
Throughout Church of God World Missions’ history, countless missionaries have made great sacrifices to enter the field. Many of these sacrifices go as unseen, but it’s their natural response to count the cost and give up whatever it takes to fulfill the call of God on their life—and to ultimately bring the Kingdom to people in various parts of the world.
Associate Missionary Donald Chavis also got a calling to missions later in life.
His burden for missions came unexpectedly around ten years ago, as he sat in his hotel room one night in Czech Republic. He had just encountered a group of gypsy children at one the churches. Sleeplessly, he thought about them and started asking the Lord to send someone to minister to them.
To his surprise, he heard these words in his heart: “I’m sending you.”
Through the night, he wrestled with this and started going through his “resume” with God—his time up to that point was spent serving as a youth pastor, a lead pastor, church planter, and state youth and discipleship director.
It was then that he realized these positions are not the only thing that God had in store. From there, Europe’s Child Missions was born and he has returned every year to minister to gypsy children through camp ministry.
The camps are held in various countries. Last year, Europe’s Child Missions sponsored nine camps in four different countries. Chavis trains teams that are able to help run the camps. Many gypsy kids attend the camps and hear the Gospel; and for many, it is the only safe place that they can simply be a child and not face the harsh realities of life.
Through all of this, Chavis began to feel the shedding away of his previous idea of identity in ministry as he embarked on the hard path of discipleship. He also began to see the things that this choice can take away: comfort, security, and time with family.
To him, preservation is an absolute necessity in being a disciple. Some days it requires looking beyond the tangible and focusing on where God is leading. Some days the cost seems to be too heavy. It requires a sense of “stick-ability,” as Chavis terms it, to stick with the path and realize that missions is not a fad or easy.
“Discipleship is hard. You’ll face opposition and rejection,” Chavis said. “As the Bible teaches us, you’ll share in the sufferings of Christ.”
Whether the call to missions happens early on in one’s life or comes rather unexpectedly, there is always a cost. Missionaries pay this cost day-by-day, often never seen or noticed, and touch countless lives because of it.