Kenya (MNN) — People often look for God’s calling and wonder what they’re supposed to be doing with their life. For Margaret Farnsworth, a contact in Kenya for The Mission Society, this wasn’t the case.
“When I was 11, the Lord just spoke to me through some circumstances that were going on and basically said, ‘I want you to be a medical missionary in Africa,’” she says.
At the time, everything she knew about Africa came from the Tarzan movies.
It was a story similar to Jonah’s. Farnsworth ran from the calling,and did everything she could to get away from it. But through some other circumstances, God once more made it very clear that she was meant to go to Africa.
Farnsworth ended up in Kenya for several years. She had avoided all medical education and pursued business education. However, God had His way, and she ended up working in a hospital.
Farnsworth then spent 14 years in Kazakhstan before returning once more to Kenya. She now works as a Field leader for The Mission Society and a field treasurer for another ministry. Essentially she is a resource manager who provides contact and help to The Mission Society for their missionaries in Kenya.
Currently, Farnsworth finds that communication is the biggest challenge she faces each day.
“When you’re trying to communicate cross-culturally, or sometimes even with your own culture, communication can break down.” This could be a misunderstanding of terminology or regular difficulties of speaking in a different language.
Despite these challenges, Farnsworth is extremely blessed by her work in Kenya. “The reward is the people and working with them,” she explains.
Her job provides many opportunities to interact with the nationals. She says, “It just thrills me when I can use my tasks, my job, in order to make someone else’s life easier, or help them out in some way.”
One of these interactions she especially enjoys is her Bible Study with Kenyans. She tells us that the people in her Bible study are spiritually mature and know their Bible well.
“It’s just a delight for me not to sit there as a teacher, but to sit there as a participant and be challenged by their questions as well as asking them challenging question,” Farnsworth explains.
The Bible study group is providing the money for three children to attend school. They also get involved in their community. Recently they visited a men’s prison and an orphanage. Two weeks ago they also visited a women’s crisis shelter. Pray that the seeds of the Gospel that were planted will bring help and hope to these hurting people.
Farnsworth says most of her staff is Kenyan, and the mission field they work in is rather unique.
“His Gospel, actually, is very welcome here and very open,” she says. “We have many opportunities. For instance, it’s a huge percentage of the population who would say they’re Christian; it’s about half of that percentage that actually professes and believes and has a true, genuine faith.”
The combination of openness and the possibility that their faith isn’t very deep allows for conversations and interactions that challenge the people of Kenya.
The country is facing increased threats from al-Shabaab terrorists. Farnsworth explains that in the city in which they work, there haven’t been any direct connections to the attacks. They hear about it, and they are cautioned by the UN.
She says, “We walk by faith, not by sight, and we don’t walk in fear. God never promised us an easy trip. So if it ever comes about, I am just praying that I am the witness He’s called me to be in a difficult situation.”
She believes faith is what guides her attitude, not the fact that they haven’t seen activity locally. Terrorists are “here, we know they’re here. We hear about them frequently. But, like I said, it has not directly affected any of us yet.”
Of all the ways that you can support Farnsworth, she believes that prayer is of primary importance. “If people are praying, God’s going to work. If people are praying, God’s going to provide. If people are praying, things are going to happen as He wants them to happen.”