Acting as if Nothing Happened

by Paul

Before I dive into my story, let me say that, technically speaking, I'm not a pastor. I graduated from seminary, ordained in a small denomination, and work as a missionary who reaches out to Muslims in Michigan. I come from Muslim background and you will notice that English is not my first language. So, forgive me for gross mistakes in my writing and be patient for the sake of our Savior.

When I became a believer in Christ almost ten years ago, I was surrounded by great pastors and Christians. They were my mentors. Due to their blessed influence on my formation as a believer I always had this romantic ecumenical notion according to which, I imagined, all Christians work together happily ever after. That childish understanding was slowly shattered in seminary when I saw prejudice toward me as a person who come from the Middle East. But I persisted because I wanted to be among people who I love and to do ministry like them. It was and still is my call. I found mercy and love in Christ and I did not want to let that go. However, I was not prepared for what hit me a month or two ago.

Fast forward five-six years after graduation. I started working as a missionary and ministry coordinator in a larger ministry than before and that is when problems started. I put together a group of people with another person to share information, pray and do the ministry. But the other person who worked with me in the ministry formed an alliance with a third person from the group and challenged a very important decision I made. They directly went to the pastor who oversaw the ministry. Disagreement among us arose due to hiring a person but that disagreement burst open previous and hidden trust issues. After second interview I decided the person was not worth hiring as an evangelist but they disagreed. I don't mind people disagreeing but when they disagree and then gang up together to push you out of the ministry, gaining the support of the person who was not hired yet I hit the bottom.
I was not able to sleep at nights. For days, all day long my mind was occupied with these two people who wanted (and still want) to push me out of the ministry. My routine was disrupted. The tension gave me headaches and I lost desire to do anything, let alone ministry. The irony is that I'm more qualified to do the ministry in our given context with two masters degrees, fluency in five languages, extensive cross-cultural experience, and intimate knowledge of the person whom I judged to be unfit for the evangelizer position. These people act as if nothing happened. They smile at me again as if we did not go through major clamor.
Nowadays, I think whether God truly calls me to work as a minister. It is so discouraging to receive meager paycheck, spend half of that for the ministry and then be trampled down by people who claim to share the love of Christ. It is devastating to be treated as a second class person. So, I pray that the Lord reveals me where to go from here.

I don't know if I will persist doing the ministry. I just pray that God snatches me out of Satan's hand and places me into peaceful situation.

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