BC’s Campus Missionaries
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” ~Isaiah 6:8 (NIV)
October 19, 2011
Bluefield College students gathered for a luncheon on Sept. 29 with visiting missionaries Dr. Henry and Matasha Clary to discuss their calling to missionary work.
The Clarys have been working with the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention as missionaries in Uruguay for the past four years. Currently living on Faculty Road on BC’s campus, they plan to stay through the spring 2012 semester. Missionaries with IMB have the option to work four years outside the U.S. and return for a year for a stateside assignment. After their time at BC, the Clarys will move back to Uruguay.
Henry Clary, a theological education connector, said he received his call while he was still a young Christian after years of being an atheist. While sitting on his couch, he said he experienced a feeling of great joy and a sensation of peace. He heard a voice telling him to do missionary work in Uruguay, and he saw a vision of the country. The Clarys refer to it as a “Damascus Road” calling.
Henry and Matasha Clary in Uruguay
Clary said he has also heard experiences such as his referred to as a “weird God moment.” After the experience, the Clarys called their pastor and found out that he and a deacon had been praying that a family from their church would be called to missions.
Clary began a bachelor’s degree in mission work. During the three-year time frame Dr. Clary was in school, the family was eager to go to Uruguay to begin their work as soon as possible. It was during a radio program that Matasha Clary heard a speaker say “The sword was not made for the sheath and the arrow was not made for the quiver. Patiently endure the time of preparation.”
The family patiently endured the three years of preparation. Toward the end of his bachelor’s degree, Henry Clary said he was called to earn his doctoral degree, which meant an additional seven years of school before the family could go out to the mission field. After IMB’s first term of service, however, it restructured, needing people who had doctoral degrees, so God had prepared Clary for 10 years before sending him out to the mission field.
“When the Lord starts speaking and starts working in your life, fasten your seatbelt, because what he asks is faith and obedience and then he begins to work out his plan,” Cleary said.
The Clarys talked about the culture shock of arriving in a new country. On average it can last anywhere from six to 18 months, depending on a person’s age. The younger an individual is when going to the mission field, the easier it is to adapt.
Henry Clary spent part of the luncheon giving testimonies of well-known characters in the Bible who were called to follow God and stepped out to do what God commanded. He spoke about Abraham, Moses, Isaiah and Paul, saying God speaks to his faithful.
Matasha Clary said it is important to trust in the Lord and walk with him daily through prayer, fellowship and worship. Then, when the Lord speaks, it will be easier to know it is him and a lot easier to understand.
Of the nine students who attended the luncheon, five have already been on an international mission trip. Some students said they feel they have been called to missions in areas like Asia and South Africa.
“The Lord is active in your lives and you are seeking his will for your life and in the right time he’ll show you what you need to know,” Matasha Clary said to those students called to missions.
The Clarys’ credo is “God Speaks.” This, they said, is the surest way to know that God is real. They believe God’s timing is important in everyday life and in the case of being called to missions.
Every second and fourth Thursday at noon, the Clarys will hold a meeting for those who are called to missions and want to continue to learn more about mission work. Anyone interested in learning more about missions is encouraged to contact the Clarys at 276-326-4476 or .