7 things about being a Missionary

Friday, June 20, 2014

I recently saw a blog about the myths of expat living. I found myself agreeing with every bit of the article since Mitch and I are technically expats (someone who lives in another country that is not their homeland). However, I thought it would be fun to create my own list, but about missionary living, since we're also missionaries. I figured that a lot of my readers have probably been on a mission trip before, know people who go on mission trips, or know/support missionaries. While this probably isn't general to all missionaries, it's our life and I hope this will help everyone understand our world a little better (and maybe even give you a good laugh).

1. We are semi-homeless.
I prefer to call myself a nomad rather than semi-homeless, but either way, we never seem to have a permanent place. We lived in Nashville for 2 years and our commitment in Guatemala is for 2 years, but we will most likely stay longer. When we are in the states, you can usually find us hopping from one state to another visiting friends and family. We're pros at living out of a suitcase. The life of a missionary isn't completely nomadic, but we sure do a lot of traveling (just look at the life of Paul!). Who knows where we'll be 5 years from now?!

2. Our driving skills have drastically improved. 
Americans think other Americans are bad drivers. But you really haven't experienced bad driving until you have crossed borders. Don't worry if you fail your drivers test in Guatemala. You can always just pay for a license…

3. Our bargaining skills have improved…with the police.
One time Mitch completely got out of getting a parking ticket because he used the whole "I'm not from around here" trick. Except it wasn't a trick and he really didn't know that he wasn't supposed to park in that spot. He also just so happend to "forget Spanish." I don't know if you could really call that bargaining, but it worked. And that one time I got stopped (they do random stops here) and I didn't have my license…I somehow talked my way out of that one!

4. We are grateful for the little things.
Like toilet paper. I totally forgot that flushing toilet paper was a thing. I'm just happy to have some. And I know now to always carry some with me when we're out and about. Good luck finding toilet paper in a village.

5. Our bug and dirt tolerance is through the roof (literally). 
Bugs are still not my friends, but they are more tolerated than ever before. Please don't judge me when you come over to my house and see spiders living on the ceiling and in the corners. Is it weird that I'm kind of thankful for them? I mean, they do eat bugs. There may be more dirt than you're used to seeing too, but my house is made of concrete so just go with it.

6. We speak Spanglish.
Spanglish is a real thing you guys. Sometimes our brain has a hard time switching back and forth between Spanish and English so they both come out in the same sentence. Lo siento in advance.

7. We have the best job.
Ministry can be hard; emotionally, spiritually, and physically hard. But on the hard days and especially on the good days, we remember that we are working for the Kingdom. That makes every second worth it and it makes us thankful that God chose us for this job…the best job!

Beautiful Ministry

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

I love this photo. I love the smile on the little girl's face. I love the freshly painted nails with each color representing something different about salvation. And I love the different skin tones coming together as friends. 

This past week was another adventure for Mitch and I as we lead a mission team from West Monroe, LA (no, the Robertson's did not come!). We worked primarily in a new area for us called Las Vegas (Guatemala, of course…although the other Las Vegas that we're all familiar with could use a whole lot of Jesus too). We also ventured into some familiar villages that we work in on a regular basis. It was a wonderful week finishing the construction of a new church building and seeing many come to know the Lord! 

Mitch and I had been working in a village called Amapa since December and had yet to see any adults come to Christ. Ministry takes time, this we know. But some of these villagers had made it pretty clear that they didn't want to change. So we began thinking that this area was nothing but hard soil and that maybe it would be wise to move along to another village. We were discouraged, yet we continued. We took some of the group with us into this village for half a day. After only 2 hours of evangelizing, playing with kids, and giving free eye exams, 9 people were saved! And many of those people had been showing up at our Bible study this whole time. We learned something very important from this: house to house, person to person evangelism was much more effective than large group bible studies. This is true in scripture too. Jesus is seen with individuals and his disciples more often than speaking to the masses. Many more salvations took place this week in other villages, but we are rejoicing over the saved souls in Amapa; a place we have been praying for for so long.

When groups come, we like to do projects that helps the local community and builds up the local church. The main project they worked on was finishing the floors and altar of a local church, which only took them 3 days to finish. We also focused a lot on evangelism and saw at least 25 people saved! Usually one week mission trips changes the group more so than the locals. Because let's be honest, 1 week is not going to set the world on fire. But this week was a bit different. I can't say this enough, but I love this job of mine. I love seeing high schoolers wrecked by what God is doing and I love seeing locals come to salvation in Christ. I'm thankful to have been a part of last week's ministry. Here's to 4 more teams this summer! 


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