30 April, 2014

Common misconceptions about missionaries

It's very much on my mind that we'll be going back to Australia in under nine weeks. Someone asked me yesterday if I'll continue to blog while we're there. It never occurred to me that I'd stop. 

I blog about what this ordinary missionary family gets up to in life. When we're in Australia we often feel even more like missionaries than we do here, because we spend much more time talking about what we "do" rather than just doing it. So it seems perfectly natural to continue to blog.

One of other ways we feel more like missionaries in Australia is because we run up against some interesting questions and misconceptions about who we are and what we do. I can't say that we've encountered all the below, but I think these are probably all out there, whether or not people are able to articulate them:

 all work in third world countries.

move from country to country.

are unsettled or resisting "settling down".

are spiritual superheroes.

are very unusual individuals.

are all evangelists or medical people.

live in poor conditions.

are serious all the time.

are all Westerners in non-Western countries.

don't encounter the sorts of problems/temptations that non-missionaries encounter, like depression, stress, breakdown, marital issues, health issues, cancer etc.

are all amazingly fluent at the local language.

This seems to be a common topic for missionary bloggers to write about. Here's a post by a missionary in Africa with an interesting list of misconceptions he's come across. Here's another one with Five Big Misconceptions.

Do you have some more you could add to the above list?

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