Test of Faith

I’ve been thinking about courage recently. What is courage, and what does courage do, not only for others, but for us as well? C.S Lewis writes, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality.”

I remember month four on the mission field being the hardest month I had ever encountered up to that point. I was facing some culture shock; Prague was in the middle of winter, and then I got sick with a virus that lasted for a few weeks. It was cold; I felt uncomfortable. I remember wanting some type of relief, and not experiencing the relief I had longed for in that month. I remember wanting to quit, even tempted to look at plane tickets to come home. However, I also knew from my pre-field training at the Center for Intercultural Training (CIT) that month four would potentially be a hard one, that there would be a dip, and then things would level out again.

hannahMy faith was tested to believe, even when I could not see, that God was indeed there with me and at work. He not only met me at my lowest point, but also carried me through it. While I was sick in bed, I quoted the scripture we had memorized at CIT. There was also the comfort of knowing that I wasn’t alone, that others who had come through CIT were also going through a lot of the same trials around the world. Through the testing of my faith, there was perseverance; through the trials, God showed me how to “consider it pure joy”(Jas 1:3-4). Pure joy didn’t make sense to me, and wasn’t something I could produce within myself. Yet, He was so faithful to show me the joy, and He gave me courage. He gave me the courage to continue, and if I hadn’t been through CIT, well, who knows. I’m not sure what would have happened.

We all have had, or will have those moments, those moments that test us, those moments that bring us to our knees, those moments that try us. Life overseas is both a testing of our faith, and a time to consider what we encounter as “pure joy.” CIT is pre-field training for that, a seven-week course designed to help missionaries succeed as they transition overseas.

What I like about CIT is that that the facilitators not only helped in the preparation, but they also cared about my heart and what was going on at a deeper level. Through their stories and experiences of life overseas as a missionary, I was able to see courage, courage that I would remember on that cold wintery day of month four in Prague, courage that helped me continue my journey.


The next month, things did get better. The virus passed and I started feeling better. Spring soon came, and things became easier as far as culture; relief did come. Yet, it was month four that really shaped me. As I look back, I won’t forget how God met me at my lowest point and showed me his mercy, power, and grace.

By: Hannah Munnerlyn, Serving at the Center for Intercultural Studies