A couple of weeks ago I was reading a blog (I can’t even remember what it was to be honest.) & I must have been really interested in it, because I actually took the time to read some of the comments as well. Although the subject was NOT about this, the comment section became about this….poor missionaries vs. rich missionaries.
Being a missionary myself, I found it very interesting to see how others view this life we live. And it made me want to share with you (those who know us) a little bit more.
We (my family) are not in the ‘rich missionary’ category. We do not get all the recommended support our mission suggests. We save up for YEARS to be able to go back to the States. However, I can see how someone without knowing our story might see us differently.
Last summer we went to FL. We stayed in a nice hotel and we went to SeaWorld.
If you saw me on Facebook or Instagram, you would have seen what we were up to.
We also went to Boston for a day (while visiting family nearby).
We also saw movies, ate at restrunts, bought new clothes (for bringing back here) & last but not least, we even went to Branson, MO for a week.
BUT HERE’S THE DEAL….We could NOT have done those things if they were not gifts. That’s right. Those fun things were PAID for by others. The restruants= gift cards. Branson condo= gift from a family member. SeaWorld= gift. Hotel= gift. Things we did in Branson= discounts, gifts & only a little of ‘our money.’ We DID NOT ask for these gifts either. Some were given by people who support us each month. Some were given by people we were surprised by.
There are some people who sometimes say (yes, we have heard this), “Why don’t you ask them to give you the money instead? That way it’s not ‘wasted’ on something unimportant.” To this I say, “My family IS important. Making memories and having a time where we can have fun & relax is NOT a waste.”
I also don’t feel like it’s my place to tell people how they want/choose to serve the Lord. If they feel this is a way to serve the Lord…by allowing our family to rest & be refreshed (which we needed)…who am I to say they are wrong? Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we (missionaries) should be all about ‘living it up.’ We would not have taken any more ‘vacation’ days last summer. What we did was enough. But if you didn’t know us. If you didn’t know that we eat simply, only buy discounted clothing (usually a size larger than normal…so the kids can grow into them), that we saved for FOUR YEARS for one summer of living (& shopping) in the States, you might have thought that we were ‘rich missionaries.’ But you would have only been partially right. On one hand…the financial side, you would be wrong. So wrong. 🙂 However, on the other hand, you would be right. We are rich. We are rich because of the people in our lives. The people who not only love the Lord, but love us as well. And even more than that, we are rich because the Lord Himself loves us too!
So there you have it, things are not always what they seem. We looked like we were ‘living it up’ only because God & His people were lavishing us with love. We are so thankful & humbled by our experience.
I pray that each of us remembers to show the love of Christ to others in both big & small ways each and every day.