“Among the several challenges confronting me as a mother in missions, the birth of our second child was the most remarkable,” says Jaara*.
“Giving birth away from home but in one’s country is challenging enough, but more challenging is giving birth in a foreign country, with weather, language, and cultural barriers,” she admits.
In 2019, Jaara moved from Nigeria to West Africa with her husband Azi* and their young son, to join SIM’s Faithful Witness team, which launched that year.
Until they arrived, there was only one known Christian in the area, but the couple are passionate about reaching the lost with the gospel and have enjoyed many blessings, including being welcomed into two rural villages, where the locals are open to receiving workers willing to live among them and learn their language and culture.
However, giving birth while far away from home, proved one of the most challenging experiences of the couple’s new life overseas.
“There I was, in the labour room, unable to express my feelings and pain to the midwives because I couldn’t speak their language fluently,” recalls Jaara.
“I appreciated my husband’s efforts to translate, but it wasn’t enough. To the glory of God, our baby was delivered successfully, but then started the next phase of our struggles.
“Our friends and missionary colleagues were very supportive and encouraging, but where I come from, a woman’s mother, mother-in-law, or an elderly woman stay with and care for baby and
mother for at least three months. Here, this isn’t the case.
“When James 1 says we should consider it pure joy when we face trials because the testing of our faith develops perseverance, it speaks to me because now I can say I’m more mature as both a mother and a servant of God,” she adds.
And despite her fear and inexperience, Jaara has ‘no regrets’ serving the Lord as a cross-cultural mission worker and says it’s ‘a privilege’ to nurse her baby daughter and to groom her children in God’s way and letting people around see that.
“I remember a mission worker telling me she’d love to show my baby to the locals during their weekly health meetings as an example of how a healthy baby should look, which is so uplifting!
“I hope my story encourages anyone transitioning through difficult times, that God is with us and works things out for our own good.”
By Kerry Allan
There are opportunities to join the West Africa Faithful Witness team in medicine, community health, teaching, adult literacy, rural development, engineering, sports, media, church planting, and anti-human trafficking. To find out more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to talk to our team.
- Give thanks that God is at work through the lives of SIM’s faithful witnesses throughout the world.
- Give thanks there are more new workers hoping to join the Faithful Witness team in West Africa.
- For movement of the Holy Spirit in areas where Christ is least known.