Saturday, December 22, 2012

Just some reflections on being a missionary (Day 794)

When you're a missionary, you live this different life in (often) a different country with different people who speak (likely) a different language than you grew up with, have different customs than yourself, and live in a different way than you're used to.  The most difficult part of the job is deciding if you're okay with "different."

The greatest gift that God gave me when preparing me for mission work was not my compassion and heart to help people.  These are the greatest gifts a humanitarian could have.  (Admittedly, my work often has a humanitarian bend.)  The greatest gift that God gives missionaries is humility.  People come to us in need of help--usually material--and thank us for it; we have to remind them that the real help does not come from us but from God who, regardless of what we suffer in this world, has something even better waiting for us.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

No news = good news? (Day 783)

Coming back was quite difficult for me.  I don't mean that from a cultural, logistical, or emotional least not in the actual arriving part.  I mean that when I got here, my animals had not been cared for for the 38 (or so?) days that I had been away by the person who I thought was going to care for them.  My house had rotting food and fleas all over it, and I still have not managed to clean up all the dog poop.  Nor do I have my full set of house keys yet (and I've been back about two weeks!) from the person who was supposed to care for my animals.  Then I find out that the school where I have been working hasn't issued paychecks for October or November.  I knew the situation was rough before I left, but I didn't think it was that bad; I brought back checks from the United States and turned them over to the proper person my first week back.  We have still not seen checks nor had a meeting to talk about whether or not there will be a school next year.  Long story short, I may be moving again.  

In my fantasy world, some large sum of money would be donated so that I could buy a house and do mission work full-time, that I could translate when it was asked of me and that I could teach classes to pass the time.  And, quite frankly, I wouldn't mind opening up a school to help children who can't afford school, but as I don't have much access to communities that rural, it's still just a dream.

However, don't think that only bad things have happened since my return.  I took a few things with me to the US which I managed to sell--and I'm working with some people there to try to sell more--for the people down here.  Two of the families were without food when they were handed their money.  Maybe it hits deeper because it's just before Christmas, but that has to be a rough situation when you have a responsibility as the provider of your family.  A third family had just started making their house a little bit safer when they found out that the girlfriend of their youngest son is pregnant.  There will be a shotgun wedding before the end of the year; the money will probably be used to help fund it so that construction doesn't have to be halted.

So, for those of you out there who are praying types (I know some of you are non-believers who just like keeping up with me), please keep my entire employment situation in your prayers.