Did you know that we live on an island in the middle of the ocean?
How many times did we dream about living on our own island in the tropics. Filled with coconuts and mangos and bananas. Lost to the chaos of the world and the pollution of politics. Doesn’t it always seem like a perfect life? And yet here I am living on an island only 3 miles wide and is filled with all those fruits and more. However it is far from peace and relaxation.
The reality is that when you live in the tropics your electronics will break at ridiculous speeds and scrapes turn into tropical ulcers as well as many new sickness that your body has little resistance to. Couple that with limited power and seasonal drinking water and you begin to start thinking more of castaway then Gilligins island.
Why do I say this? It’s not for sympathy and it’s not for a chance to vent and it’s definitely not for a medal because many live in much worse conditions. No I say this because why we live where we do is not because it’s fun. Yes there are fun times and great moments but those are not the things that will sustain us. The why we are living here is what will sustain us. We live here because we know that God wants us to be involved in spreading his good news and glorifying Him. This is our anchor because it does not change. One could say that His purpose in this world is our shoreline that gives us stability in a sea of ever turning chaos.
So when someone asks us what does it take to be an overseas missionary my first response will be “stability in understand who you are and who the Lord is!” Without this understanding everything else has a chance to be washed away. Once you truly get that, then we can talk some more.
However you maybe wondering how we do live in a practical way. For our family we live in a house that on the outside is weaved of bamboo but on the inside feels and functions very similar to a house in America. We have running water that we gather for the rain. We have power that we get from solar that runs our lights and charges our computers. We even have an oven and washer machine. So we do function in a similar way but it’s the little thing that makes it different. For example when the sun goes down we have to stop using power and when it’s dry season we have to stop flushing the toilet! We also shop for 3-months worth of food since there are no stores. When we want to go to the nearest town we drive our boat for 120 miles across the ocean. The ride is enjoyable most of the time, since we see whales and dolphins and flying fish. However when the seas are rough we do question our sanity.
FYI – the fun times do include some awesome snorkeling, fishing, endless coconuts, pineapples, mangos and crazy types of bananas that make the bananas in America taste like chalk.