ArticleMissionary Life

The Cost of a Calling

After the death of her husband, Diana felt prepared to do the thing she had always wanted—missions.
“Everything that I’ve poured myself into these past 30 years is gone.”

Diana spoke these somber words to her daughter days after the death of her husband in February 2017. Her children grown and out of the house, Diana found herself desperately searching for a new purpose.

Amidst the suffering, her daughter asked a question that became the hinge on which the entire future of Diana’s life turned.

“Mom, what is it that you’ve always wanted to do but never could?”

Christianity played an integral role in Diana’s life since childhood. She said she cannot recall a day when Jesus Christ wasn’t her savior—a testament to the extraordinary process of sanctification at work within her.

Missions has also held a special place in her heart since high school, when she joined her church’s youth group on a trip to Mexico. However, at 19 years old, she married her husband, Scott Duncan. Scott had health issues that made travel nearly impossible, so for the next three decades, Diana remained content to cheer missionaries on from the sidelines.

Her daughter’s inquiry wasn’t so unlike a coach’s call to action to get in the game. Inspired, Diana rose to the occasion, immediately downsizing her possessions and tying up loose ends to pursue long- term ministry. Soon after partnering with ABWE, she traveled to Togo, West Africa, for nine months. Having homeschooled all four of her children through high school, Diana was tasked with caring for the missionary kids. This helped their parents to more effectively carry out the work of their various ministries.

Although deeply saddened by her marriage’s abrupt ending, Diana is confident the Lord will ultimately work it out for good and use her suffering to purify her and further his kingdom in this new season of life. She returned to Togo in August to continue her work educating and caring for the children of missionaries.


Editors Note: Learn more about Dianas ministry here.

About the Author

Loren Skinker serves as a communication specialist with ABWE and managing editor for Message Magazine. He graduated from Virginia Tech in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in communications and English.

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