Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Truth About Missionary Life


I’m beginning to realize how important like-mindedness is. Not, I don’t mean conformity, but having someone who shares your passions and same basic goals.

I want to be a missionary. More than anything. I want to live in a mud hut, tree hut, wigwam, tent, trailer, truck, cardboard box. I don’t ever see myself “settling down” and living in one place in a four bedroom house with a dog and a picket fence. I have too much wanderlust for that. I get too bored. I see myself traveling for the rest of my life.

I want to live in the jungle, the desert, deepest, darkest Africa or Asia, or South America. I want to live in the heat and the dirt with no air conditioning or running water. I want to live in the hardest places in the world. The kind of places that most people try to stay away from. It’s those places that my heart breaks for.

I want to live with the minimum. A lifestyle of simplicity appeals to me. I have no need for excess. I find it superfluous. (I find it funny that the word for ridiculously excessive is excessively ridiculous. All I need is a change of clothes, food in my belly, and something to keep the rain off. Well... more or less. Either way, I’ve lived with nothing before. I know what it’s like to live with only what I can fit in a suitcase. And that appeals to me. If it doesn’t bring beauty to my life or have a useful purpose, I don’t need it.

Jesus sent out His disciples two by two. It’s a biblical model. However, finding my “two” has proved to be much harder than I would have suspected. No, Robert and I are not together any more. Why? Read those last three paragraphs again. It had nothing to do with whether or not I loved him or he loved me or how good of a guy he is (Because he’s a great one). It has everything to do with those three paragraphs. That’s not where his heart is. Our basic life goals were different. I need someone called to missionary life.

Let me tell you what missionary life is like. In church, you hear the stories of the miracles and the sweetness of the orphan kids and what it’s like to live in the glory. Yes. There is that. But let me tell you what it looks like to those who live in it every day. It’s dirty and ugly and hard. I know I talk a lot about it being the hardest thing I’ve ever done. That’s an understatement.

Daily life on the mission field? It’s hot. It’s dirty and sweaty and smells like raw sewage and garbage and rotting meat and far too many people crammed together in one city. It’s living without basic comforts like hot water or most dairy products or air conditioning. It means that if it pours rain and it floods, you have to walk 2 miles home in the rain and flood water. It means that if you fall into a sewage ditch because you can’t see through the flood water, you have to drag yourself out of it and walk the rest of the 1.5 miles home even though you’ve sliced your foot open and your textbooks and laptop are wet. (I’m fine by the way. I took lots of medication to make sure I didn’t die.) And you have to hold it together for that mile and a half because sitting down on the sidewalk and sobbing won’t get you home. It means staying up for 32 hours with only an hour of sleep because you have a patient to take care of. Missionary life is not pretty or romantic. It’s not all seeing people come to Christ and miracles every day. Mostly, it’s dying to yourself. It’s messy and hard.

I’m not complaining here. Strange as it may seem it’s the life I want to live. It’s the life I’ve been called to live. And I need someone who is called to that as well. I need someone who is called to give up absolutely everything, every comfort to follow God to the dark places. Not everyone is called to that. Some people are called to the Western world. Stars above, those places need missionaries just as bad as anywhere else. But it’s not where I’m called to. It never has been. I’m called to nothingness.

I am called to have nothing, to be nothing. I am called to have no reputation other than Jesus. Jesus is my reputation. The reason I love Heidi Baker so much? When she walks into a room, Jesus is there. He exudes out of her. He oozes from her very being. I want that. When I walk into a room, I don’t want people to see me. I want them to see Jesus. I don’t care if they ever know my name. I just want them to know Jesus. I want to be a tool, a vessel. I want God to empty me out so that I can be filled with Him. I want to be nothing so that He can be everything.

This isn’t a “less of me, more of God” idea. I feel like He created us to be ourselves. I want to be me to the best of my abilities. I really like me. However, something that is built into who I am, is being filled with Him. It’s all of me and all of Him. Does that make sense? I can only fully be myself if I am fully filled with Him. That’s where the fullness of me come from.

Anyways, that just all kind of came tumbling out... haha. On a lighter note, here are some pictures from the outreach I go on to a nearby island! (LINK)

Also, my birthday is in 1 month a 4 days! Better start sending your packages now! It takes a month for them to get here!