SO YOU WANT TO BE A MISSIONARY ?
I really do like blogging but sometimes, I suffer from writers block. OK maybe I'm just plain wore out after supper to do anything but close the bedroom door and drop into bed. Anyway lately I have been having some good ideas popping into my tired little mind that give me the urge to pick up my mini HP and peck at the keyboard.
It seems like so many people who visit our Project Help-Haiti campus at Borel tell me they would like to possibly be a missionary sometime soon or in the future. Now I have been on the mission field eleven years and don't claim to know it all , seen it all nor heard it all but I do think I can give some interesting insights about what it takes to be a missionary. So my brilliant idea is to every now and then blog some key points about what it takes to succeed at mission work.
Key point #1. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. I don't know why I decided to start with this one, probably because you will encounter situations everyday where you find yourself saying or thinking " I didn't expect that".
Now don't get me wrong not everything that happens that is unexpected is something negative. Because we are working for God and he is the "Supreme Employer" your going to be right in the middle of some awesome things happening and He is using you to make it happen. Never think small when your employer is God, one of our missionaries working here at PH-H has a passion for doing street evangelism so often after he is done working he will go out to evangelize. Because he had been witnessing out on the street some people invited him over to their house to talk with their friends . Randy was expecting maybe a small handful of young people not 50 or more but out of his zeal to reach others with the gospel of Jesus Christ in the span of a few days 150 accepted Christ. This is why we are here it is why we come to the mission field we should be expecting good things to happen.
What about those things that happen that can't be labeled positive or negative, in fact they are often embarrassing, at times humorous and often leave us speechless. One that we most often encounter here in that category is nudity. As missionaries we understand the culture that when bathing and going to the bathroom the Haitians have no modesty about doing it in public. I remember my first year here I was out on a hike with my mentor Dr. Binkley as we rounded a curve on a canal path I could see three women, up ahead bathing as we approached they continued bathing but also giggling. After we passed Vic made the comment "well I guess we made their day", in the American culture it would have been the other way around.
Another time that sticks in my mind though it was years ago, it was humorous and unexpected. I was in St. Marc on business with a Haitian friend whose name I no longer remember. After coming out of the government building I got into my truck and took off, after driving a short distance I looked in my rear view mirror and to my surprise there was a naked man standing in the back of my truck as I sped through town. His front side was facing my rear window and his backside was mooning everyone who was following us. I pulled over and we tried to convince him to get out which he eventually did , we got back in the truck but before we could take off he had jumped back in. We tried to convince him to get out again and tried to pull him out which tended to agitate him, being relatively new to the country I wasn't sure what to do next.
My Haitian friend on the other hand said " lets get back in the truck, he is a fou moun (a crazy person) we can take him to the police. So we drove clear across town with a naked crazy man standing in the back of my truck. To this day every time I see a big old farm dog riding in the back of a pickup with his head sticking around the cab of the truck and his tongue hanging out catching some air I think of that guy in the back of my truck.
Later on we are going to talk about the another key point that relates to Key Point #1 and to many others and that is always have a plan and a back up plan, be prepared.
Remember : "Planning is what gets you to the mission field , preparation is what keeps you there". In God's love, SJM