Thursday, September 23, 2010

The 'Super Missionary Family' - Revealed

I pulled out some old home videos the other night.  Mixed in was a set of dvd's of a missionary camp meeting we attended while on deputation.

I remember the time well.

I was miserable.

We were at an amazing church, but I felt like I was under scrutiny.  Like we were being forced to be a 'super missionary family' because they chose the missionaries that would attend their missions conference (guaranteed support) based on their attitudes/performance/servitude at this camp meeting. I saw some missionaries fall all over themselves, almost fighting to take the trash out.  Refill tea glasses and even sweep the kitchen when they obviously didn't even know how to sweep. 

Problem was that I had a child knocking on deaths door. She was so sick with an uncontrollable and very messy stomach virus that had lasted way too long. We were staying in dorms. I had all 5 kids with me and Michael was across the river in the men's dorm. I was overweight, stressed to the max, and hating missionary life. "The things missionaries do for support...." I remember myself thinking.

The dvd I watched showed all of us missionary wives come across the stage to receive shopping money (they carried the ladies shopping, but I had to stay with a sick kid). In order to get your money you had to say something about your husband...well....all the other ladies told about how their husbands were the best, spiritual leader, honest, trustworthy, yadda...yadda.....

I had had enough of all the gushy stuff and finally it was my time at the mic. I decided to mix things up a bit. I told them about the awful noise my husband makes while brushing his teeth! The entire place erupted in laughter. (thank goodness)

Why would I do something like that?  In front of about 500 people?  My husband shaking his head in embarrassment.

I wanted folks to know that missionaries are real people too.

Of course it's good if the missionary husband has all of these traits the other women talked about.  It would be good that ALL HUSBANDS, regardless of their calling in life, had these traits.

But, missionaries brush their teeth just like everyone else.  We cry, we scream, we fight, we cry some more.  We pray, we burn the bread, we wipe snotty noses and read bedtime stories.  We go to church, we learn foreign languages, and we embarrass ourselves when we speak in public. 

We're not to be placed on a pedestal.  We're not better than anyone else.  We're usually pretty humble, as life on the foreign field isn't the least bit glamorous.

Some of us even make that awful gagging sound when brushing our teeth.


P.S. We got invited back to their mission's conference!


~Karen~ said...

Thank you so much for this post! It is nice to know that I'm not the only "ordinary person as a missionary." :-)

Anonymous said...

I can appreciate this, Nina, because in just a short time (1.5 years) my husband and I will be hitting the deputation trail. I needed this reminder that missionaries are real people and to just be myself in the churches we're going to be in. Thanks for an honest perspective and just keeping it real!

Dani Joy said...

OOOO Girl, been there but minus 2 kids!!! How you made it is the grace of God!

I love you for this! I love you for all that you are and what you are becoming! God is using you even in your blog writing! This is one of the best yet!

I love you for mixing it up and sharing this.

We are praying for you and your family.

May the Lord find us faithful. That is all we can ask for.

Big hugs,
your neighboring missionary girl-friend,
Dani Joy

Dani Joy said...

Can I re post this???
I know I´m a copy cat. jeje
Dani Joy

Sharon said...

I love your honesty and down-to-earth attitude! THAT is what makes you so special. I would rather be around one person like you than hundreds of people who are just putting on a "front".

Anonymous said...

Great post! I wish I could've been sitting in the audience when you got your turn at the microphone. You are a stronger woman than I. I don't think I'd survive deputation. It's good God gave you a sense of humor!

Anonymous said...

Thankfully God calls humans, not super-humans, no matter what church people at these conferences think.

Ok, I guess I wasn't really done speaking my mind when I hit "publish comment" last time. Sorry. :-)
-FringeGirl Again

Kelly Johnson said...

Loved, Loved, Loved this post!!! How true! If people only saw all the times I argued with the Lord about this thing called, "DEPUTATION"! Thank you for sharing this insight and reminding me as we begin our first real furlough, that the Lord is the one that counts, not me! By the way, my husband doesn't make a yucky noise when brushes his teeth, but he does talk in his sleep!

The Hat Chick said...

I am so glad you are a real person, but wouldn't you love it if you could walk around with the perfect wind-blown look like the mom in the cartoon?

sandysellers said...

I have to tell you that I just read this post at Smith Chapel in Arkansas. It is Almost 11:00 at night and several people are sitting around in the fellowship hall after a long day at a prison revival. Most are checking email and involved in their our little world. I had a hard time staying quite. I have laughed and laughed. First a small snicker trying not to bother any one. But the more I read the more I could not help myself. I know that very church you are talking about. Oh, by the way we were invited back too.
Love ya,