Go. Serve. Love is psyched about featuring this post from missionary Joe Holman; it originally posted on his blog and is gratefully used with permission.
Fun fact about Joe: He and his wife totally pull off the missionary thing amidst a family of 13. They’ve served in Bolivia since 2007.
First, the Disclaimers.
I’m going out on a limb here, so I’ll put some disclaimers up in advance.
1. I love being a missionary.
This post points out bad aspects you’ll not hear us normally say. It doesn’t mean I’m unhappy or unfulfilled.
2. I’m speaking of feelings and perceptions.
I know what the Bible says and can give a counterpoint to each of these. For example, when I share how we feel about shortchanging my children, I know that there are 100 positive things that people can point out to me.read more
My family wrangled our carry-ons into that taupe-colored hum of a 757, bound for six months stateside. (After the lunacy of the week before, preparing to abscond for six entire months, I was just grateful to make it to the plane.)
I felt conflicted.
There was of course the sizeable slab of me that couldn’t wait to throw my arms around my parents, watch my kids grab the hands of with my nieces and nephews again. I was geared up to sit around a table with the people I’ve loved for a lifetime, just like that. Perhaps I would carry a dish of corn on the cob, say, to laugh at my sister’s jokes in crazy-easy normalcy. I hoped to devour a slightly unhealthy amount of blueberries and bing cherries in those months; to close my eyes over the quiet purr of a road devoid of potholes; to throw a few dishes in the dishwasher just because I could.read more
We know it. You know it. Heading overseas is this tornadic level of activity.
I remember fantasizing about the moment I’d finally click my seatbelt shut on that 757: At least–after finally checking our exactly-51-lb.-bags, shuttling four kids through security with every device we still owned, and waving goodbye to the posse of weeping family–I couldn’t do anything else for nine whole hours. (Um. Except entertain a toddler and keep him from driving the rest of the plane bonkers?)read more
Surveys can tell you what you already know. You’ve felt it slip down your back, constrict your chest, look away in mortification, slide beneath your fake smile. The #1 obstacle to entering full-time ministry?
You’ve just returned on home assignment. And the first thing someone asks is, “How was it?” (Or my personal favorite: “How was Africa?” “How was the Middle East?” etc. Hmm. I haven’t asked…all of them.)
Do I unleash the fire hose with my one hour spiel?read more