Missionary Interview Series – Lisa Coggin

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  1. How long have you been a missionary?

    14 years

  2. What factors led to you becoming a missionary?

    I suppose the Lord had been preparing me for this for most of my life. I have, since childhood, been interested in people of other cultures. I received the Lord’s gift of salvation when I was 13 years old, and as an adult I went on mission trips. I really wanted to be one of the people the Lord used to tell people about Him, especially those who are in places where there are few followers.

  3. How did you know this was the path God wanted you to take?

    I could see myself doing this very easily. If I could not see myself here, I would have realized that the Lord was not in it.

  4. What were some of the hardships you faced during the first year on the mission field?

    CULTURE SHOCK! Language barriers, realizing that what is seen is not always what is.

  5. How did you overcome those hardships?

    Prayer, prayer, reading and re-reading God’s love letter to me, and perseverance.

  6. Was it what you expected?

    No, not at all.

  7. What surprised you most?

    That people in other countries have different value systems and reasoning is based on survival not morals and justice.

  8. Will you share a memorable experience?

    Wow, there are so many… One is: During a village church service, there were two very old women that walked for miles to get there and they sat on the floor during the service. When the time came for giving offerings and tithes, they both struggled to get up and one of them brought a small bag of simsim (sesame seeds) and the other a broom made from grass. It was bound beautifully and tightly and the ends were cut perfectly even. So much time had been spent making it. Tears came to my eyes when I remembered growing up in church and the pastor would plead for the congregation to give to the Lord. These old women must really love God to have given so much of what little they had. Their food, and their handiwork.

  9. What scripture verse keeps you going during hardships?

    “Do not lean on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight”

  10. How has your relationship with God changed during your mission work?

    I begin and continue to grow closer to Him and understand Him more.

  11. What would you tell someone thinking about becoming a missionary?

    To ask the Lord for the humility it takes to be completely teachable. To read missionary biographies. To realize and believe that the people you are going to serve ARE NOT innocent victims of poverty, they are lost and need the Savior and discipleship. That people don’t learn the same way that you do, learn about them. And that these people are sinners and they sin. Pray and do not cease praying, and listen to the Lord.

  12. Did you have a team supporting you in prayer when you first were on the ground?

    Yes.

  13. How has this impacted you personally and your missionary work?

    It is powerful, security, strengthening.

  14. Where have you served?

    Honduras, India, Belize, Ukraine on short-term mission trips and in Uganda for the last 14 years.

  15. Did you “work up” to your current location with smaller mission trips?

    Yes

  16. Have you mentored new missionaries yourself before they went out on their own?

     Yes.

  17. How has this changed the way you view missions and your work?

    It humbles me and reminds me that I was once where they are.

  18. How has your family supported your desire to be a missionary? Did their view of your work make it easier or harder for you to serve God in the way He has called you?

    My family was and is supportive of my being here. It really helps me so much because I am not distracted by the discouragement that would possibly come fit they were not supportive.

  19. What culture shocks have you experienced?

    Too many to list. I suppose the difference in value systems is one that comes still to this day.

  20. How have the local people welcomed you into their communities?

    Often we have been welcomed readily and the message we bring is received well, but as time passes we always come to realize that for many it was only on the surface and that there are in fact, few who truly come to the Lord. The reception is often based on what you are bringing to them materially.

  21. What was your scariest moment and how did God use this in your life?

    When my best friend was dying and I was trying to help her. God brought me to a place where I was at the end of myself. I could do nothing. I was completely reliant on Him and He is faithful and trustworthy!

  22. What advice would you give someone who is praying through God’s call to the mission field?

    I would tell them to commit completely to the call. Even if it means for the rest of their lives. Then spend some time preparing for what God has for them by studying His word and praying. And to read missionary biographies!!

 

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Hi, my name is Erica and I am a God-called missionary for Northern Uganda. It is my passion and life-calling to bring God’s word to the people of the world. Each and every one of us can do our part in spreading God’s word to people in need of Jesus’ healing touch and hope. Trying to figure out if God has called you to the mission field? Do you want to learn more about what it’s like to be a missionary? Check out my book, For the Joy Set Before Us – Insights Into the Missionary Journey today.

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