Four months ago I moved from Canon City, Colorado to Chiang Mai, Thailand. I can’t really find words to depict life since then. You see, it used to be that words came easily to me. They don’t anymore. They haven’t for a very long time. In fact, I’ve been waiting to write this post till I can explain myself with beautiful and eloquent words. But in truth, to write these following words eloquently would be nothing less of an oxymoron.
People speculate and form expectations on things they know nothing about. One of these things is what it is like being a kid on the “mission field”. This is something I’ve dealt with somewhat my whole life. I don’t blame them, really. It’s no wonder they gain false impressions when they just see pictures of us holding tigers, riding bikes, and sipping smoothies.
I guess that’s why I’m writing this. Because pictures can’t show you what real life is like right now. And because, please, do not ask me one more time what my normal day’s schedule is like … because, I do school, eat, and sleep just like other kids my age.
Life isn’t a romantic adventure. When you visit a country for a few weeks you may be constantly experiencing “spiritual highs” and having new and exotic experiences…. But please, don’t think that that is how life is for the missionary kids you visited who live there all the time. After a little bit, what was new is old, and what was is exciting is sometimes very hard. (But this I can only say for myself because I can’t speculate and form expectations on other missionary kid’s lives which I know nothing about.)
It’s normal life, only now I am surrounded by a language I can’t understand, deprived of normal food, sweaty all the time, far from family, constantly the weird foreigner, living a life none of my peers in the States can understand, am losing hair, getting boils and trying to somehow, someway find a “home” for my heart in a place that holds almost no similarity to the place I once called home.
No, it’s not glamorous.
I don’t write this to complain. I write this to encourage you to take a step back and look again at what missions really are. I write this to urge you to stop waiting to love people till the ideal time comes. Love now. Serve God now. Don’t wait till you can finally be in missions, thinking it will somehow be easier for you to serve there. Don’t wait till the timing is more convenient. Don’t wait around for the ideal people group you feel “called” to be plopped on your lap. Start the lifestyle of missions now.
Come on, no matter where you are called it is never going to be easy or automatic to truly love. The world is full of people who desperately need love and who are impossible to love on your own. God wants to love people through you. God has called you be a “missionary” and I challenge you to be obedient to His calling on your life…whether that takes you to the jungles of Africa or hometown USA.
Secondly, I write this to ask all those who have friends who are “missionary kids” to pray for them, do everything you possibly can to keep in touch with them, and understand when they think differently then you. Don’t pressure them with expectations that just aren’t realistic.
Lastly, I just want you to know (more than anything) that GOD IS FAITHFUL. It is a beautiful, beautiful truth that He has been confirming over and over the past several months. It is the Truth that is worth every battle we face, and every mountain we climb in order for the world to hear it’s good news.
>>It truly will be worth it all when we see Jesus.<<
[[Forgive me for the disconnected ramblings and the lack of suitable words. I’ll try not to do it this way again. 😉 ]]