I think the “idea” of being a missionary is romantic. The idea of living a life, sold out to Jesus, loving and serving the poor, (maybe even) living in another country, seems pretty amazing.
Before we left the States, I had coffee with a half dozen pastors. After the meetings, more than one of them said they envied what we were doing. That was weird for me. Why would they “envy” us? I wouldn’t have even noticed but THREE pastors said the same thing. One pastor has a congregation of more than 5,000!
In July we’ll celebrate 5 years of missionary life in Guatemala. It’s been a blur. We’ve had hundreds of people visit and I often think about those pastors. What they were thinking that day? What part of missionary work did they envy? I have to imagine some of our visitors have felt the same way.
∗ Most people don’t know the struggle of living in another language.
∗ Our ministry has had MASSIVE growth in the last 18 months. MASSIVE. That growth has led to actual, physical burnout.
∗ Every time I go to the ATM I wonder if I’ll have a gun put to my head. Every, single, time. (I’m not trying to be dramatic, we’ve had it happen to multiple friends)
∗ Most people aren’t surrounded by poverty 24/7. Some days, I don’t know how my heart can take it. But at the end of the day I always ask God to continue to break my heart. “Lord, I don’t ever want to get comfortable with this.”
∗ Most people don’t know how hard it is to continually have our hand out. We’ve asked, and God has provided, new block homes, new clean air stoves, the boys academy, food for families in crisis, countless doctor visits, a medical clinic, water filters, a library/computer lab, computers, a team house, a mission home (our home), food on our table, a new (to me) truck AND THE LIST GOES ON!
∗ Most people don’t know the struggle of a 3rd culture kid. Making and keeping friends is a constant and very real battle.
∗ EVERY SINGLE TIME my wife drives outside of a 15 mile radius she keeps in touch. It’s something we started when she got her tires slashed and her credit cards stolen.
∗ We do our best to communicate with our partners in the States but we ALWAYS feel like we fall short.
∗ We often feel alone in this country. We rarely get together with our best missionary friends because we’re all trying to keep our heads above water.
A good pastor friend of mine wrote me last week, “You make it look easy. I know it’s not, but you rock it.” That meant a lot. It was super encouraging.
I told him “I feel like a duck swimming on top of a tsunami wave. Calm on the outside and those little duck feet paddling their ass off.”
Living a life, sold out to Jesus, loving and serving the poor, and living in another country, IS an amazing life. It’s probably not as romantic as you might imagine, but it’s pretty amazing.
Scroll down to share this post. Thank you!
Momma’s walking home after stopping by the academy to weigh their babies and pick up PediaSure, fruits, vegetables and eggs.