So what's the hardest thing about being a missionary?
It could be missing your family, but modern technology has made it easier for us to communicate with our family and friends daily at little or now cost?
It could be learning a new culture, but depending on your personality, that could be perceived as a challenge and an adventure? Yet you know what, we do like things done in a certain way don't we? I discovered that for me, one of the things I find particularly annoying here on the field is that the local culture here is to drip feed information. So you ask about something and rather than tell you the bird's eye view of what you need to do, they give you it in bits and every time you think you have finished, they tell you something else they could have told you before you started and could have planned into your schedule. For me that's ggggggggggrrrrrr!
It could be learning a new language, which pans out as the same thing as the point before this one. It could be finances, but you should have friends and family who are willing to support you or even those that hear about the mission and are touched and decide to support for that reason (any of you out there, just let me know). Support is in prayer and also in finances for the missionary represents those that stay at home by bring them on the field through their support.
The hardest thing for a missionary shouldn't be spiritual disciplines, because sometimes all you have is prayer and your Bible. It definitely shouldn't be preaching or soul winning or else you should never have left home. If your'e not a soul winner at home, what makes you think you can be one abroad.
Some missionaries suffer from culture shock, but that's only if you are not familiar with the country. Things like finding out you don't get water, electricity all day or even every day. Sometimes the phones don't work like you're used to. The internet is slower than you are used to that kind of stuff will shock you. When folks respond to you at snail pace for everything or simple things. That will stress a guy. That is until you let it go. Get over it, your'e in a developing country and by the way, you know things in your country don't always perform up to standard anyway, right?
So the hardest things is not the shock stuff, its actually the stress stuff. Stuff you'll never get used to because they will continue to stress you because they go against your ethics, character, personality or general disposition. The things that stress me are the things I know don't take long that the locals just drag out. Or things that are simple that the locals make look complicated. I got a theory its colonialism that has affected the minds of some people. For instance, every thing here is sown up by the lawyers. If you want to burp, "You need a lawyer to help you with that" (you get the idea).
Its quite frustrating to meet that mentality where simple things that you take for granted are suddenly taken out of your domain. One more frustration is the technology I'm used to. I suddenly can't do tech. "Horror, gasp, squinge, flap, flap, scream." I consider myself a high-tech minister and to suddenly be without constant access (we're getting there and continue to work on it), it's rather scary.
So to summarize for today, the hardest things are doing without the things you are used to and take for granted. My beautiful wife, my sometimes annoying children. An ice cream or your favorite pop-corn. Access to my server, my study books, knowing where to go to get things done and being able to action them without waiting for days or weeks for something simple to be done. Did I mention the cost of things being even more expensive than the UK?
Time to end the rant, please pray for me and continue to follow the blogs. If you'd like to support my mission financially, just write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Did I mention my new book coming out on Friday July 14? Check it out and get a discount until Friday if you are an early bird. The book is called, "The Singleness of God (Elohim)" The cost is: £9.99 but with the code you get 30% off until Friday midnight GMT. Here's the web address: www.hebrewapostolic.com/resources and the discount code is: 2EW5V5F8. Speak to you later Alligator. LOL Bye for now!