With dirty feet and sweat-layered skin, our team of missionaries encircled to pray. The days were logistically long, but passed fast. Mission work takes us into dangerous places, where our need to lean on the Lord is more evident than most days.

“Gracious, Senior …gracious Jesus …”

Each prayer our nationals prayed was laced and layered with thankfulness. Pain and suffering surrounded then, yet they continuously thank God - not for what they had, but for who He is. Through endless tears and tragedy, prayers of thankfulness wafted up to our great God.

Upfront, these missionaries thank God for healing, provision, and guidance. They don’t pray wondering if He hears them, or if He will answer their pleading. These prayers are assumptive, and they have a wall full of miracles to back their belief. God has moved over and over again in their lives. The miracles they have witnessed remind them what is possible for God. Each day, they wake to an expectation God will move. There is no wonder whether He is good, or if He will do good things. It’s assumed.

The far corners of the world foster great expectations of God. Seeing is believing, but we don’t have to see to believe. Here, in the comfort of the Western world, I returned convicted to praise God for miracles without wondering if He would execute them. I set a goal to spend more time thanking God for who He is than for what He has done for me. But the vow to tweak the countenance of my prayer life slowly faded upon re-entry to my regular life. I wonder if that’s why so many desire to stay on mission in difficult situations, trading comfort for courage in order to witness miracles first-hand.