Q1: Kindly tell us your full name.
A1: Charisa Makanto.
Q2: What is your birth country, and are you currently residing in that same country?
A2: Nigeria. Yes, I do reside here.
Q3: How did you hear about WPMI, and what motivated you to join Team Watchmen?
A3: I found out about WPMI through their Instagram page. I desired to partner with the ministry because I needed the field experience, and my goals and vision aligned with that of WPMI.
Q4: Were you always passionate about missions? How did your love for missions come to be?
A4: I was never really very passionate about missions. The desire and passion were birthed when I had an encounter with God, and I received clear instructions to go into it. The passion has grown over time and is still growing.
Q5: How many mission trips have you gone on?
A5: I have gone to at least a hundred villages in about 18 countries.
Q6: Which one was most remarkable and why?
A6: All my mission trips are very unique, and none is exactly like the other. There are beautiful people, unique and diverse cultures, and hearts ready to receive from God. All of them are remarkable.
Q7: Can you tell us about a life-changing experience you’ve had while on the mission field? It may be a healing you witnessed, a transformation you witnessed, or a miracle.
A7: If anything, I’d say I never get used to seeing the tangible healing power of God at work.
Q8: How did this happen (Referring to Number 7)?
A8: I watched a woman who could barely walk that attended my meeting, and even without laying hands or specifically praying for her, God healed her. Another woman in another country came for my women’s meeting and requested prayers. She had a very visible growth on her feet. I laid hands and prayed for her. The next day she returned in tears, shouting and screaming, giving God the glory. The growth disappeared overnight.
Q9: How were the lives of those involved impacted?
A9: I’d say the impact has been tremendous and immeasurable. I’ve learned over time not to limit the acts of God to what my eyes can see.
Q10: What are some of the challenges you’ve faced (both within and outside the mission field)?
A10: Within the mission field, missionaries encounter various challenges. These include cultural and language barriers, which require them to adapt to unfamiliar customs and learn new languages or struggle with an interpreter. They also face emotional and mental strain from being away from home, as well as physical demands and health risks in challenging environments. Additionally, missionaries may experience spiritual warfare as they engage in their work, facing opposition and hostility. Outside the mission field, missionaries face a different set of challenges. They often need to navigate the complexities of fundraising and maintaining financial support for their work. They may also encounter strains in family and relationships, struggle with limited support or understanding, and face legal or political obstacles in some countries. These challenges within and outside the mission field require resilience, flexibility, and a strong support system to help missionaries navigate them effectively and continue their important work. I’ve spoken generally, but all are based on personal experiences.
Q11: How has joining mission trips impacted your walk with the Lord, and vice versa? How crucial do you think it is to heed to the leading of the Holy Spirit on the mission field?
A11: Embarking on mission trips has had a profound impact on my personal walk with God. Through these experiences, my faith and trust in Him have deepened as I witnessed His faithfulness in challenging circumstances. The exposure to different cultures and perspectives has broadened my worldview, allowing me to understand God’s love for all people and fostering a heart of compassion within me. Mission trips have also strengthened my prayer life, teaching me the power of intercession and reliance on God’s guidance. Above all, I have experienced personal growth and transformation as I stepped out of my comfort zone and relied on God’s leading. It is crucial to heed the leading of the Holy Spirit on the mission field, as His guidance directs our interactions, decisions, and ministry efforts. Surrendering to the Holy Spirit’s leading ensures that we are aligned with God’s will and empowers us to make a meaningful and lasting impact in the lives of others. Mission trips have not only deepened my relationship with God but also ignited a passion to actively participate in His mission, reaching the lost and serving the marginalized.
Q12: What’s your take on raising indigenous disciples and planting churches in unreached communities?
A12: Raising indigenous disciples and planting churches in unreached communities can be an effective strategy for long-term sustainability and contextualization of the gospel message. It is one thing to plant a seed, and it is another for there to be room and provisions for that seed to grow. The seed is important, and its growth is equally important.
Q13: Based on your missionary journeys, do you think churches in unreached communities can thrive without financial partners?
A13: The financial partnership can greatly support the growth and development of churches in unreached communities, but it’s also possible for churches to thrive through local resources, community involvement, and sacrificial giving within the community itself. It’s usually more difficult, but it’s very possible.
Q14: If you were to say something to churches/individuals in the cities about missions, what would it be?
A14: I would encourage churches and individuals to fervently support missions through prayer and various forms of donations. Prayer is a powerful tool that can uplift and sustain missionaries as they carry out their work. By regularly interceding for their safety, guidance, and effectiveness, we can strengthen them in their mission endeavors. Additionally, generous financial contributions, whether through regular giving, one-time donations, or fundraising efforts, provide crucial resources for mission projects, outreach initiatives, and the practical needs of missionaries on the field. Every act of support, be it through prayers or donations of any kind, plays a vital role in advancing the cause of missions and spreading the transformative message of the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
Q15: Did you experience any cultural shock while on the field? Can you share some of them with us?
A15: Personally, I easily adapt to new environments. I experienced a few cultural shocks, but I adapted fast. In some countries, everyone eats together from a bowl, and I also learned that saying no to a gift or service offered is seen as rude or disrespectful.
Q16: What 5 significant things do you think anyone embarking on a mission trip must take note of?
A16: Five significant things to note when embarking on a mission trip include thorough preparation, cultural awareness and sensitivity, flexibility, humility, and a willingness to learn from and collaborate with local communities.
Q17: Can you please leave a word of encouragement for someone who may be contemplating going into the field, whether long term or short term?
A17: To someone contemplating going into the field, I would encourage them to seek guidance from the Holy Spirit and experienced mentors, cultivate a heart of compassion, remain flexible and open-minded, and trust in the transformative power of God’s love and service.
Q18: Kindly share a statement of encouragement for someone who is about to go on a mission trip for the first time.
A18: To someone going on a mission trip for the first time, I would encourage them to approach the experience with an open heart and mind. Embrace the unknown, be adaptable, show genuine love and respect for the local community, and be open to personal growth and transformation. Ensure that God is leading you, and you aren’t just attending for the ‘fun’ of it. Remember that your willingness to step out and serve can have a profound impact on the lives of others. Trust in God’s guidance, lean on His strength, and be prepared to witness His faithfulness in incredible ways. May your first mission trip be a journey of discovery, learning, and blessings.
Report Compiled By Sis Oluwaseun Ogundare (Team Watchmen)