[Note: The following are excerpts from Adam's book.]
Everyday Life of a Missionary
It was always hard for me to imagine what missionary life was like. I understood there was hardship - that the adventure piece was probably regularly overtaken by other realities.
Everyday missionary life can actually be quite unremarkable. Most live a life filled with blog updates, email newsletters, and long lines to pay bills. Many missionaries spend more time behind a desk than they do out on the field, and much more time on their feet than on their knees.
Missionary life is tough. Things like angry baboons may not be everyday occurrences but they do happen. One day you're rescuing a child out of a ditch and the next you're negotiating the price of mangos. All of these moments - the fascinating and the familiar, the somber and the sublime - merge together into one life. It requires the ability to balance such extremes.
At the end of the day, many missionaries return home exhausted.
It's not that missionary life is bad, it's just complicated.
It's rewarding and it's depressing.
It's adventurous and it's boring.
But if you care for your friend, take the time to dig a little deeper. Suspend judgment of their lives, offer a huge helping of grace, and attempt to understand both their joys and their struggles. Admit when you don't get it, but validate their experience.
What I never knew is how much their life is like yours and mine. Maybe the highs are higher, but the lows might be lower.
In the end, they need friends who will journey together with them. Let's be people committed to being involved in the everyday lives of our missionary friends.
Become a trusted and empathetic ear for your missionary friends
and you will gain valuable insight into what real life
is like on the mission field.