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Sandy Palms*

Missionary to Africa

WIM: What is your position and general job description? How long have you served in this position?

Palms: I am the Live-Dead team leader/worker. We live and work among Arab Muslims using business as a platform to build relationships. I have served over 3 years.

WIM: What steps/preparation led you to this position?

Palms: My husband and I have been open to serving abroad our whole married life. We followed the Lord's direction through pastoral work, serving as lay people in the local church, and finally as business owners. Each of these seasons in my life built portions of character and skills that would be needed for our current work.

WIM: Is this role a vocation, a "calling" for you? If so, how did you live that out?

Palms: I have tried to live my life open to the Lord's direction while also doing the work that is put in front of me. Sometimes seemingly mundane tasks actually have been key in the bigger purposes of my life. If I had not been obedient in the "little, nonexciting, nobody notices" things, my greater purpose would not have been established. God used the everyday obediences to hone my listening, responsiveness, and endurance.

Finally, it came down to a choice. I knew the need. I knew that in some areas of the world the gospel would only be available if there were those willing to live with the unreached/unengaged, demonstrating and sharing the Good News. Knowing this, I chose to step across the line, to lay down self, to "live dead." Jesus did this for me. How could I follow Him and not do likewise?

WIM: What are the joys of this role?

Palms: Growing friendships with dear local women who are generous in their kindness and welcoming. Living among amazing team members and colleagues who share the same heart. And seeing Jesus proclaimed among people desperate to please God.

WIM: What are the challenges of this role?

Palms: Living in an Islamic culture feels like being in a vice of pressure that is constantly squeezing your spirit. Being a light scatters darkness, but it also draws the attention of the enemy. There are newfound struggles, fears, and illnesses we have to take to the Lord.

WIM: What would you tell another woman aspiring to work in this field in terms of preparation, needed skill set, etc.?

Palms: Keep Jesus central, your heart soft, and your spirit kind. Learn to be faithful in the tasks you are given. Look to the future, but not at the expense of what is in front of you. Live simply within your means. Learn to deny yourself. Embrace times of difficulty and persevere trusting the Lord for the outcome. Laugh ... a lot. Appreciate differences in personality, perspectives, and methods. Be willing to walk a different path than others. And realize that a life full of faith will mean positioning yourself in a place that requires it.