The Conundrum of “Dying to Self”

Hello Prayer Team,

Thank you so much for your prayers! It is in times like these that I especially feel grateful for all of you. In Luke 9:23, Jesus tells the crowds, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me” (NLT). Becoming a missionary means leaving my identity as an American and taking up the local cultures as much as I reasonably can. I was expecting this transition to result in some suffering, but I did not expect “dying to self” to cause such great amounts of stress. This stress has been so strong for so long that it is affecting my emotions and relationships with others. In some ways I feel stuck. Does “giving up my own way” mean burnout-inducing stress? It can’t! How did the first disciples do it? Needless to say, I’m still learning.

I am in regular conversation with many supervisors and mentors in Wycliffe, and am also blessed by a Quechua team and family that care greatly for me. Already, I am starting to get some insights and some practical ideas for reducing stress. I’m in this for the long haul!

Please continue to pray that God would continue to guide me and give me the wisdom, courage, and discipline to make much-needed changes. The “tyranny of the urgent” often makes it difficult for me to do the things that are more important but less pressing.

I am also counting my blessings. I thank God for all of you, for my family back home, for my colleagues, and for Wycliffe, an organization that cares wonderfully for its missionaries.

Thanks so much, and God bless you,


2 thoughts on “The Conundrum of “Dying to Self””

  1. It’s a hard game to learn, Alex, but it’s the only game in town. The things that keeps me at it are the recognition of what I owe to others (which becomes more obvious with each new challenge in my life) and the desire to be a REAL help to the people whose lives I touch. You’re engaged in a great work there.

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