Have you ever wondered if missionaries are real people? Somehow we tend to put them on a pedestal and believe that they are better than us. That they have learned the secret to spiritual success. That they have risen above such things as desiring conveniences, loosing patience with their children, or being fearful of what God might be doing in/with their lives. After all, most of them have traveled the USA up and down, asking people they've never met for donations and prayer support so that they can take their young families to a foreign country and teach other people they've never met about God and his wonderful gifts of salvation and sanctification.
Missionaries are real people
When Hudson Taylor was a missionary and it took many weeks and many boats to deliver one single letter, words were precious and often the hardness of the work and the normal-ness of the person was not communicated. In modern times however, with the advanced technology that we enjoy it is much easier to know your missionary, and if they are honest, you will find out that they are real people, normal people.
This does two things:
- It takes them off of the pedestal and allows you to understand them and pray for them as you would a friend.
- It allows you (and your children) to realize that anyone can be a missionary. God doesn't just call special, super spiritual people to take his good news around the world, he chooses normal people, just like you.
Most of us came gladly to our fields and wouldn't trade it for the world! But, that doesn't mean we don't grieve for family far away, that we don't wish for certain comforts, that we don't hurt over the continuous goodbyes our children make.
For instance, yesterday was Memorial Day in the USA, and no matter how convinced you are that you are right where God wants you to be, it's still a lonely place to be on “home holidays” when you know your families and friends are getting together for reunions, and picnics (and home made ice cream and cheddar cheese crusted casseroles) and may not even have the time to drop you a Facebook greeting today.
Emily of The Long View has recently written an excellent article on the realness of missionary life. Emily beautifully expresses what a lot of us missionary women have desired to say upon occasion, but could never quite put into words.
Please take a moment and read Emily's article “When she's not the good missionary“. It will change your view of missionaries and the
glorious normal lives we lead. Then please take a moment and drop a line of encouragement to a missionary that you know. Believe me, it will brighten her day!
Click here to view my other posts about missions and missionaries.