Voices from the Field Kristi TenClay Get to know Kristi

Is it Sacrifice or Obedience?

Published on February 17, 2020

Click here to view this newsletter as a PDF.

Praise God with us that we have some ‘possibilities’ for new teachers next year and continue to pray with us that God will raise others and the support necessary to get everyone here in time for the new school year. (If you are interested in helping get someone here who might be struggling with raising sufficient financial support, please email me so I can connect. tenclayk@gmail.com)

Please continue to pray for me as I shift my perspective to staying in administration long term.

Praise God that the most recent rounds of elections seem to have passed peacefully, but pray for Cameroon! The political situation can be described as nothing but ‘hopeless’ from a human perspective. Pray that God will show himself in the midst of it and that his mighty hand will change the hearts and minds, bringing REAL change, REAL hope, and a future that will testify to glory.


Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of God?

I  S A M U E L  1 5 : 2 2 A


It has been a crazy school year, serving as Interim Director. And it is now getting even crazier! As of early January, it was announced that I will be the new director moving forward in a more permanent capacity. Thus, the adventure changes course once again!

Because I have been in the office since June, I don’t think most people recognize much of a change with that announcement, but for me it has been a significant paradigm shift. It is not a role I ‘wanted’ or ever ‘dreamed’ of filling, but in the last few months God had made it clear that applying was the step of obedience to which he was calling me.  It is still easier to see the change in light of what I feel like I am losing – the classroom time with my kids, and I can’t say that I am ‘excited’ about it yet, but He IS opening my eyes to new possibilities, and giving me an increasing sense of peace both that this IS where He wants me to be and that he continues to walk with me.

It doesn’t take long once you are identified as a missionary for someone to comment in amazement on “all the sacrifices” you have made or to have someone claim that they “could never do that.” In fact, one of the most commonly asked questions during my first home assignment was “what is the most difficult sacrifice you have made in order to be a missionary?” It always caught me off-guard. Sure, when I stop and think about it, I can come up with a list of people, things, and conveniences that I miss, but no matter what path our lives take, each choice  brings both blessing and loss. Married? The freedom to act and make choices independently is sacrificed. Single? The support and joy of sharing your life with a partner is sacrificed. Kids? A whole lot of sleep, money, and control over your own time is sacrificed. No kids? A legacy and a special love unlike any other is sacrificed…I state these examples because they are choices all adults live with, but the list could go on.

I have had many people over the years ask why I ‘chose’ to become a missionary. My reply is usually something along the lines of “I didn’t.” For, that was never the choice I made. It was never a question of “what do I want to do with my life? That sounds like fun.  I choose Africa. I choose missionary work.” My choice was simply to obey. Likewise, I didn’t choose sacrifice, I choose to obey.

Does obedience INVOLVE sacrifices? Yes.  Most certainly! However, just as in the Old Testament, the sacrifices themselves aren’t the point and can distract us from the ultimate call to obedience. Sometimes, I think it is just easier to focus on the noticeable sacrifices missionaries have made, but I know individuals living what you would all consider ‘normal’ lives in North America who have sacrificed far more for the gospel than I have in ways you will never see. I’m not saying my life is easy, but I AM saying that it isn’t any harder than a whole lot of yours.

By all means, pray for your missionaries, we need it and appreciate it greatly! But today also take a few minutes today to pray that God will empower you to act in obedience the next time He calls you to something difficult and that He will strengthen those around you who are being called to obedience in ways you cannot see, making sacrifices you cannot see.


Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

I S A M U E L 1 5 : 2 2 B

Some fun and some seriousness during Middle School Retreat