“If I could only go back and do things differently.” How often do we say that to ourselves? Until somebody invents a time machine, there’s really nothing we can do to change the past. And if anybody ever does, then we’d have to start worrying about the whole space-time continuum thing that never makes any sense in the movies we watch. But the one thing we can do is to learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid them ourselves.
Unfortunately for me, I chose not to learn from other’s mistakes but decided to repeat them myself. The biggest piece of advice most missionaries get is to devote their first year or two in the country to language acquisition. “Don’t get sucked into ministry.” “Learn to say “no” to people.” “Pack your schedule full with language classes and study time to give you an easy way out.”