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Monday, March 24, 2014

The Missionary Wives Survey, Part 1

Photo by: africa

Twenty-five missionary wives responded to a five-question survey. The complete results will be published over the next few posts. You’ll hear from some wonderful women who are serving all over the world.

1. Where do you serve?
Australia, Belgium, Brazil (2), Cambodia, Federated State of Micronesia, Greenland, Japan (2), Kenya (2), Mexico (2), Panama, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Serbia, South Africa (2), Spain (3), Thailand, United States (2), Zambia
(NOTE: Some missionaries have served in more than one country.)

2. What kind of ministry?
Church planting-18
Pastoring, mentoring native pastors-4
Tent making-1
U.S. military church-1
School, college, teaching, Bible institute-8
Furlough replacement-1
(NOTE: Some missionaries are simultaneously involved in more than one type of ministry.)

3. What are you currently doing in your personal devotions? 
Eighteen are reading the Bible through this year. Four of those are using a chronological plan.

Do you usually do your quiet time in the morning or evening? (Some didn’t say.)
            Morning: 15
            Afternoon: 1
            Evening: 5

Six ladies are studying a particular book of the Bible.

Three mentioned using a prayer list and/or devotional journal.

One mentioned Bible memorization (a Psalm).

Three women do the same Bible reading plan as their husbands. One lady actually sits across the table from him, and they discuss their reading together.

Missionary wives enjoy reading inspirational books in addition to the Bible for personal spiritual nourishment. These are the books they mentioned:*
            50 People Every Christian Should Know
            Mornings With Tozer
            Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
            Streams in the Desert
            Beth Moore books
            The Anatomy of Peace
            Becoming a Woman of Beauty and Strength
            Be Committed (Wiersbe)
            A Loving Life in a World of Broken Relationships
            The Resolution for Women
            The Heart of the Shepherd
            The Overflow
            The Knowledge of the Holy
            Choosing Gratitude (Nancy Leigh DeMoss)
            The Emotionally Healthy Woman
            A Heart Refreshed
            Lord of Glory (Ray Pritchard, about the names of Jesus)
            A Praying Life

“I have read through the Bible many times, but I love how God always opens up new things each time I read it, no matter the method. I am really enjoying the chronological template, because it is enabling me to make even more connections between so much of what happens to God's people (such as the stories of the various kings of Israel and Judah and especially the connection between the Psalms of David and the situations happening in his life when he penned each one). I also sometimes read a short devotional book.” 

“At the end of last year, I believe the Lord gave me a kind of ‘theme’ for my personal devotions for this year: ‘Zeal for Repentance’ from Revelation 3:19b, be zealous therefore and repent. I read this in my Bible the same day I came across the following quote of evangelist Leonard Ravenhill: ‘It would be a good idea, if every day this year, as far as the Lord lets us live, you asked the Lord, "Have you lived comfortable in me?" You think He is? Would you have to retrace your steps?’ So every day I ask the Lord if He lived comfortable in me today, and when He shows me where I disappointed Him, I zealously repent. Anytime in my Bible reading I come across something to do with repentance, I highlight it in my journal. Or if I come across a Christian quote about it, or something I hear in a sermon. It all goes in my journal. I also read a short devotion out of Mornings with Tozer, albeit not everyday. I have a prayer list that I pray through half in the morning and half at night before I go to sleep. And, I'm reading a book called Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver.”

"Just a note of encouragement to mommas: as a young or not-as-young mother, I always heard ‘you must have your devotions first thing in the a.m.!’ Made to feel like it was sinful or carnal if this was not done. I had (several) babies, who grew into kids, and for some years it seemed if I even thought about getting out of bed, at least one child was immediately at my side, hence no private time for a good number of hours. Don’t neglect your quiet devotion time with the Lord for sure, but He is available any time of day!"
“When we first got married, my husband and I were reading through our Bibles, but on separate schedules. We decided we wanted to be "on the same page." So, he developed a Bible reading plan for us to read ten chapters a day. I didn’t think it would be possible, but it's been great! We read 8 Old Testament chapters Monday through Friday and 2 New Testament chapters. Saturday and Sunday are different. Saturday: 7 OT chapters and 3 NT chapters. Sunday: 7 OT chapters, 2 NT chapters, and the Proverb for the day. We do it like this, because it allows us to finish the Old and New Testaments at the same time and we can read the Bible through more than three times a year! I have really enjoyed this schedule.”

"Combining devotions with lesson preparation works really well for me. Plus, I feel that it enhances my ability to make the lessons more relevant to the ladies daily lives since I am studying ways to make the portion of Scripture more relevant to my own. I am a total night owl, so, despite numerous guilt trips I was put on by well-meaning preachers in my past, I have settled into a general routine of doing devotions and most of my heavy studying at night. At night, I am not distracted by ‘all that needs to be done today’ and less likely to be interrupted by others, both here and in the States. I also learned a long time ago that I am more apt to remember things that I read and study at night, than things I study during the early morning or daytime. I pray before beginning the day, and I do try to read a ‘devotional thought’ each morning."

*Having not read all of these books, this list is for your information and not a blanket endorsement. I am personally intrigued and will look for some of these titles.


  1. I like the recurring theme in their comments about finding your best time for devotions, no matter what time of day it is.

    I've only read 4 of those books but have had a few of the others on my radar for a while.

    1. Thank you, Barbara. I think you will really enjoy the remaining results of the survey. :o)

  2. LOVE all the devotional book suggestions! I'm always on the hunt for good ones! :-)

    1. I agree. It's a list that will be helpful to me, too. I'm glad you can profit from it. God bless!


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