Posted on: 20th March 2019
CMS missionary Kysha Davies (serving with Nick in Peru) is striving to bring honour to Jesus in their location, yet struggling with ongoing illness. Read on to be encouraged by their faithfulness and better equipped to pray for the gospel work they are doing.
The first year of a missionary’s service is supposed to be all about learning: culture, language, people and what life looks like at the new location. But my first years’ service was entirely different. I spent the first nine months rotating between 2-4 weeks of illness and 4-10 days of health. Our second nine months have not been as bad but I’m a long way from full health.
There have been strange moments. I would talk with other missionaries about which hospital to try as if they were restaurants. At one appointment the GP told me I needed surgery, a scan, an invasive procedure, to see a psychiatrist and then to let him know how things went with the immunologist, and after hearing all that on the walk home a bird pooped on me!
It has been an exhausting 18 months for both Nick and me. As we tried to figure out what was happening with my health, in a language we were not fluent in, we were also trying to figure out what marriage looks like for us in this new location. And believe me, nothing kills the mood like running to the toilet 20-40 times a day!
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt in all this is that there is no normal first year of missionary service. My ability to communicate has been hindered and I have spent far less time learning language and culture than I expected, but instead I’ve been learning to rely on other people and their skills.
I thank God for Adrian and Anita Lovell. As missionaries with experience in Bolivia and with the medical system, Anita played translator for every single appointment. Their friendship really got us through that. And I am humbled by and grateful for CMS supporters who I’d only met for maybe an hour or three but who sent me regular messages and told me they were praying for me. I felt so profoundly upheld in prayer during those first nine months, so much more than ever before in my life.
Why we persevere
I’ve occasionally wondered why we persevere here when I have been so unwell. What on earth is God doing?
In December we flew to Cusco to serve with ECAMM (a local missionary training organisation) for a week so Nick could teach Introduction to the Bible and I could assisted with review and essay writing skills. Nick and I live in Lima, a city of 10 million, but the flight between Lima and Cusco is dotted with tiny 2 street towns between the mountain ranges. I couldn’t help but wonder who is reaching these tiny little pueblos.
I got my answer that first week of December. As we served with ECAMM we heard of the work they are doing to reach these tiny isolated towns that speak the local indigenous language (rather than Spanish). These are the missionaries who are serving those we can’t get to.
I’m still unwell – although praise God, it’s not as bad as it was – and I’m learning more and more what it means that perfect health is never promised by our God. But we are committed to being here, playing our part in reaching the nations with the good news of the risen Lord Jesus, despite and through all the experiences along the way.
Missionaries face the daily difficulties that everyone faces, often in a completely new location. Pray that God will enable them to keep their eyes fixed on him and his purposes in the face of their trials.