Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4, NIV

At the age of fourteen, shortly after making a commitment to Jesus Christ, Virginia Kingston heard a foreign missionary speak at her church. As he spoke, the Lord birthed a dream in Virginia’s heart that she too would one day work in a foreign mission field. While living with a challenging blended family, Virginia made her way through junior high and high school. She then attended a small private college where she majored in English and PE. Upon graduation, she inquired about mission work and discovered that single females were not being accepted for foreign mission work unless they had nursing degrees.

Virginia spent the next thirteen years of her life personally, professionally, and spiritually maturing while working at four different schools. During this time she earned her master’s degree in education while teaching and coaching all grade levels ranging from 5th to 12th grade. During this period in her career, she was given extremely challenging and at times, frustrating students, administrators, and class schedules. Perseverance was required.

Finally, at a teacher’s conference twenty-one years after the birth of her dream, Virginia discovered a mission society looking for American English teachers to send to China. Recalling this time in her life Virginia states, “The Lord used the twenty-one years of spiritual, personal, and professional maturing through many different trials and experiences to mature and prepare me for the foreign mission field. I would not have survived in China if I would have gone there straight out of college.”

Virginia sold almost all of what she owned, gave away her old car, and set out on the adventure of a lifetime, moving into one of the most religiously repressive communist nations of the modern world. After being in China for two months, she knew she had been transplanted right where God wanted her…where she could work for Him.

Lord, give us strength and wisdom to persevere through today’s trials in our professional lives in order for You to make us mature and complete. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright Don Clark.

Don is a member and a retired elementary special education teacher. He recently retired from his role as the Houston area director for Christian Educators.

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