Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Lice! Yikes!!! And Some Things I Have Observed Regarding Missionary Life.

I find missionary life to be a conundrum.  My parents were missionaries but they had office jobs that gave them a set time schedule for their day. Every weekday morning at 8:00, my dad would go to the office with his briefcase and come back home after 5:00 in the evening, when we would eat dinner together as a family. Then I've seen other missionaries that seem very lax in their time spent during the day, and as a person looking in on the surface, living a missionary life appears to be a cop out to a job that you have to be accountable to someone other than God.

Before we left on this trip, my parents warned us about the organization we were going with. As missionaries, my parents are aware of this organization and pointed out a few areas of concern for us. For example, everything is based on faith. The faith that there will be enough food to eat at the end of the day without having any type of security {as in a job} to pay for the food. Faith is vital to have in your walk with Christ, but a job with a reliable income is also necessary to function in the real world we all live in.

The family we are staying with has two biological children and have taken in four other children. The family is also responsible for the feeding and caring of the maternal parents and her brother who would rather drink whiskey than hold down a job. Any money the brother does get from his sister goes straight to a night spent drinking. The family relies completely on faith to feed their "family" of eleven. It helps out the family to have teams staying with them for whole months at a time, because the team provides the money for the food and helps with the building projects around the compound. When it doesn't look like there is enough money coming in, the family will sell a rooster for cock fighting to pay for some more food.

This evening as my husband was going to give our two kids their shower, I learned that the kids and the adults have lice here. I was worried about that possibility before we came out here, and I have been washing my kid's hair in tea tree oil to prevent any possible infestation. Just knowing that lice is definitely part of our lives right now, I am praying that we won't get it, while my head automatically feels like it's itching.

I have also noticed regarding myself, that I do not make a good missionary. My husband and my six year old daughter are both very adaptable, blending in and not batting an eye to the changes in culture. My son and I have a harder time adjusting. This is something my husband and I discussed before we came out on this trip. We are both well aware of the realities of my personality. On any given day in a clean western society, it's hard for me to use a public bathroom. It's that much worse here, where we are having to not put any tissue paper down the commode, but instead deposit it into a trashcan sitting next to the toilet. My OCD personality is also coming out, and it's hard for me to understand why some people do not want to clean up their living space properly. Of course, all my adapting is harder to do when I am sick, which was the case the morning we got on the airplane. The week before, my daughter was sick, then it was my son, and he still has it lingering on. Now I have it, and it makes it hard to plaster a smile on my face. I constantly have to remind myself that I'm here to show the love God has given me and that automatically puts a genuine smile on me.  


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