It’s easy for me to sit behind my keyboard and tell you all the strategies I’m learning about how to be a global missionary from home. But the ugly truth is, I’m not an all-star global missionary myself. In fact most days, thinking about my brothers and sisters around the world is nothing more than an after-thought — something I need to check off my list before I go to bed.

It’s been six months since I arrived home from my round-the-world trip. It seems that as each week flies by, I become less and less mindful of the people I loved while I was abroad. There are two people from Rwanda that I can honestly say I pray for every day — beyond that, it’s pretty hit or miss. I don’t do a great job of keeping in touch with most of them.

Likewise, I only think to pray for my sponsor child when I catch sight of her photo in my desk drawer. I see her sweet little face and feel guilty for not writing, so I say a quick prayer, but then the drawer gets closed all over again.

I don’t firmly commit myself to buying fair trade. I do it when it suits me; but when it would require a big sacrifice on my part, I let it slide. I neglect this even though I know my buying habits affect other people in life-altering ways. I rarely pray for the persecuted church, or for people affected by natural disasters and wars. I’m on the FV missions team and I don’t even follow the all blogs and update letters posted by the missionaries we support!

I really am a failure of a missionary.

That’s why I’m so thankful that we serve a gracious God — a God who is every bit as concerned about my finicky heart as he is about the hearts of the people I fail to love. He wants to change me through this mission. So, instead of allowing myself to become discouraged, I am thanking God for His patience. And I’m asking him – yet again – to remind me of the new heart He’s already given me, with the capacity to love deeply and serve with endurance.