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A Mission-Field at the Tip of Your Pen

by Hannah Conway

I never equated writing stories with mission work.

I had big plans for my life. Writing was for fun-just stories and nothing more. I scripted a multitude of tales throughout my childhood surrounding these huge life plans. People seemed to rather enjoy hearing and reading my creations. Yes-sir-ee. Feeding babies in Africa. Educating and reading to children in South America. Building shelters for families in third-world countries. Those were my plans. That’s how I would serve God.

I took four years of Spanish in high school, and a year of it in college, because, well, African languages weren’t offered in Kentucky schools. I studied other cultures, read memoirs and biographies of amazing Missionaries like Lottie Moon, Elisabeth Elliot, Mary Slessor, and Mother Teresa. Yes, big plans, and massive shoes to fill, but it was all for God. He’d be so proud of me when I finally became a real, live Missionary.

Ha.

It took quite a while, and several bumps and bruises in my life, to see that I already was one. And so are you.

My dreams of becoming an official, some sort of certificate holding missionary were put on hold when God put a handsome soldier in my life. The uniform still gets me (sigh and swoon). We met, married, and Army-life during wartime happened.

War. Deployments. Death. Loss. Worry. Fear. Life became a battlefield, and it was in the midst of troubled marriages, and hurting hearts that I realized the battlefield was my mission field. God didn’t need me in South America or Africa.

I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

I picked up my pen and paper, and began to write, knowing for the first time my words had purpose-a mission. Any story I told would no longer be just a story, and neither is yours. God never wastes a hurt or an opportunity to help hurting people, and neither should we. As Authors, our words go out into the world and impact the hearts and minds of our readers. We are missionaries in every sense of the word, and because of that, I want to encourage you as I was encouraged to be blatantly Christian in your writing. Not that you have to preach a sermon, but that your words, creation, storyline, etc. reflect the One who gave you the ability to write.

We don’t simply write a story. We have the opportunity, and the privilege to tell others about the goodness of God in our stories. Amazing, right? I didn’t have to travel to South America to come to that conclusion.

I pray this article resonates with you dear reader, and helped you realize you’re not only a talented writer, but a missionary as well.

Hannah ConwayHannah Conway is the author of The Wounded Warrior’s Wife and Wedding a Warrior from Olivia Kimbrell Press. She is an Army wife of more than a decade, mother of two, writer and speaker. A Kentucky native, Hannah lives near Fort Campbell where she and her family reside. She holds a BA in History from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and is active in ministry, Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), as well as the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), and My Book Therapy (MBT). You can find Hannah on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

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6 Responses to A Mission-Field at the Tip of Your Pen

  1. Beautifully stated. Writing puts us in a “borderless” mission field. Gives a deeper meaning to our work. Thank you so much for sharing your heart.

  2. Ian says:

    Well said, Hannah. And how exciting for us as authors to be stepping out onto the mission field every day as we write.

    Wishing you every blessing in your writing this year, Hannah.

  3. Natalie Monk says:

    Hannah, I love this. You’ve expressed my sentiments on writing perfectly. I didn’t grow up wanting to be a missionary (I grew up traveling across America in a revival evangelist’s home), but from the time I started learning the writing craft, I’ve wanted it to be a ministry. If I can point someone to Jesus, then I’ve been successful. Thank you for your challenge and encouragement! God bless you in your writing!

  4. Barbara says:

    Thank you for writings this. I get the ACFW blogposts to my email, and I usually just scan the heading and delete if I’m not interested. Your title stuck out to me. And it resonated with me as I also had those same “big plans” as you say, but recently the Lord has been speaking to my heart about how writing can directly impact lives in ways that sometimes my volunteering with good things can’t. I’ve had a hard time accepting that sitting and writing is influential even if it’s not one-on-one discipling in the traditional sense. Thank you for sharing your story here.

  5. Pingback: A Mission-Field at the Tip of Your Pen | Love, Laughter, and Life

  6. This is a great post, Hannah. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I am so glad that you have triumphed through it, and that you are sharing that triumph with others.

    May God bless you!