ArticleMissionary Life

Celebrating 35 Years: Laura Kuykendall

After encouraging her students to surrender to God’s will, a teacher found herself in a position to practice what she preached.
“I think the best part of being a long-term missionary in one place is to see the children grow up and apply the teachings they have learned and serve the Lord faithfully.”

Q: How did God first call you to missions?

A: “During my younger years, I committed my life to serving the Lord, and said I would do whatever he led me to do. I was teaching in a Christian school at the time, and challenged the junior class to pray about their future—where to study, what to study, what to do, etc. Then the Lord spoke to my heart to do the same and sent several missionaries to speak at my church. Through conversations with them, I found direction to move ahead and see where the Lord would lead me.”

Q: What is the best part of being a missionary?

A: “The joy of serving the Lord. I think the best part of being a long-term missionary in one place is to see the children grow up and apply the teachings they have learned and serve the Lord faithfully.”

Q: What moment had the biggest impact on your ministry?

A: “One morning, I was sitting in morning devotions—by this point I had been [on the field] for 33 years. The leader was a young lady whom I had taught as a child. During her sharing, I saw that God had greatly taught her, and she was able to share the word of God in depth. It was such a blessing to know that the next generation was growing up to be able to carry the load of teaching and sharing.”

Q: What is your favorite memory from the field?

A: “It is hard to narrow it down to one favorite memory, but I would say the relationships with people. The Lord allowed me to work with many different [South Asians]. As years went by, they would move away, or contact would become limited. But when the Lord would allow our paths to cross again, it was a great joy to see how he had been using their life to serve him.”

Q: What advice would you give to a new missionary or someone considering missions?

A: “Learn about people groups around the world and how to minister to people in various religions. Start talking to people with ethnic backgrounds different from your own, and eating food from different cultures. Learn how and why they celebrate holidays different than yours. Explore the dynamics of their family and community life. See how you might enjoy living in those various situations.

“Then, learn a skill that would allow you entrance into another country (medical, technical, education, etc).

“And when possible, visit other countries, either in travel or on mission’s trips organized by your local church or university.

“Most importantly, study God’s Word so you can quickly hold conversations on biblical topics—whether about salvation, theology, or general Bible knowledge.”

About the Author

Naomi Harward is an alumnus of Cedarville University and served as a communication specialist with ABWE and managing editor for Message Magazine.

Share

Missionary Life

View all