Additional "From Further Afield" Articles


What’s your agenda?
Published: 12/2/2011 11:53:45 AM


What do you want? Why do you want it? Have you ever taken the time to sit down and figure out what you want out of something? Whether it’s a job, school, relationship, or even life in general, our motives and agendas may be admirable and right, or perhaps tainted with something a bit darker. Either way, if we don’t examine them, we’ll never know.

This question of agenda was first posed to me at missionary orientation three years ago by my supervisor and fellow missionary. The four of us who were to be new missionaries in Eurasia shared the same supervisor and the same question, with differing reactions. We were left with the question and the task to write our answers. We emerged a bit dazed to say the least. Our thoughts ranged from annoyance that he would question our agendas, intrigue concerning the purpose of the question to general anxiety about what to write. While I have no idea what my fellow missionaries wrote, I remember my own answer, and the question remains at the forefront of my mind. I went to the mission field with the purpose, the agenda, of serving God and loving others by sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. While it might seem idealistic or naive, that is what I still ascribe to. The ways this happens are different, and the difficulties are often many, but that's my agenda.

And it is mine to share. Up in my flat, over a doorway in my kitchen where everyone can see it, is the question, "What’s your agenda?” It was one of the first things I put up in my flat, and it has served the dual purpose of reminding me to think about what my agenda is and of starting conversations with some of my students and friends. I hold a Bible study for my students once a week in my flat, and many of them have questioned me about the phrase. I tell them that it reminds me why I’m really here in Hungary. Of course, I am an English teacher, but I also get to share the love of Jesus with people. In fact, if given the choice about which is more important – improvement of English skills or people knowing Jesus as their personal Savior – I would pick Jesus hands down. In a country where people highly value the acquisition of foreign language skills, my words seemed out of place. However, I know that it gave them something to think about, and I have been blessed to witness amazing growth in the faith life of many of those students. The motivation to serve Him comes from what He has done for us and the desire to share that with others. It always comes back to Jesus, hands down.

I hope I’ve given you something to think about too. I would challenge you to write out your agenda and motives for how you live: in a job, with your family, in life or with whatever. But I would also caution you – be honest with yourself. Look inside and see what’s driving you; and if you find your agenda lacking, don’t be afraid to change it. Though it might be difficult, we know that the Lord is with us every step of the way. "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Deuteronomy 31:6

Eros vár a mi Istenünk,

Sarah Berta-Somogyi

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