Being on the mission field for any length of time makes an indelible mark on the missionary family. Sometimes we complain, but most of the time we enjoy the wonderful, sweet, fulfilling, and funny aspects of life in a foreign country!
During our first term on the field, my friend Dotti and I compiled this list of You Might Be A Missionary If's... At the time, she and her family were missionaries in Guatemala, too, and she inspired the idea. Some of these pertain especially to Guatemala, but I think missionaries in other countries will identify with most of them.
I hope you enjoy these, and if you are or ever have been a foreign missionary, I invite you to add your own in the comments!
You Might Be A Missionary If...
...You're getting directions from someone, and they point with their lips.
...You answer your phone with your customary greeting, only it's starting to sound more like, "Alo?"
...Your children speak the foreign language better than you do and they don't even study.
...You catch your oldest child toting the baby around on her back.
...You drive your family car places that a Hummer has only dreamed of going.
...The shocks on your vehicle need to be changed once a year.
...Brahma bulls head you off in oncoming traffic as though you are in their way.
...Stomach issues are a way of life.
...Strangers pick your children up and kiss them as though they are family.
...Living without electricity and water is not just what they did "in the old days".
...You are buried the same day you die.
...When you do, the casket shop is conveniently located across the street from the free public hospital.
...You're eating a typical meal at a wedding or birthday party, and the guy next to you leans over to give you advice on how to keep it down.
...All the locals standing around try to help you back up your vehicle, every one giving different directions.
...Small children carry loads on their backs that would make most men tired.
...You cannot get away from the beautiful mountain and volcano views.
...Religious processions block main streets for hours.
...A car crash can do the same thing, and the people simply park in the street and socialize.
...You wouldn't dream of drinking water from the faucet.
...You have ever been late for church because of a burning tire road block protest.
...You have ever ordered lunch and at the same time had your car windshield washed at a red light.
...The "Marketplace" is not a Winn Dixie grocery store.
...You have ever crammed 36 Guatemalans into an eight-passenger van.
...Airline buddy passes are like gold.
...You speak two languages and can't spell in either.
...You have bars on the windows of your home.
...The traffic through town resembles an arcade game, only with chicken buses and beat-up Toyota pick-ups.
...You find yourself looking around you at the strangely dressed people and their strange customs, and you suddenly realize you really love these people.
...When questioned by U.S. Customs whether you have brought any animals across the border, you say "Only amoebas."
...Emails from the States brighten your day.
...Sharing the Gospel and seeing folks get saved makes it all worth while!