Perks to Missionary Life

Just for fun, here are some perks to the missionary lifestyle:

-Fewer embarrassing moments as little ones exclaim openly about their surroundings. For example, “Hey, Mommy, why is that guy really stinky?” Praise God for English speaking kiddos in a non-English speaking country!

-Those of us who thought it would be exotic to live like Laura Ingalls in “Little House on the Prairie” sometimes get to live our dream of no electricity or running water. Here is an amazing momma who can relate. Check out the adorable “baby in a bucket” bath!

-We get to travel the world! Often times we miss the big tourist locations, but even though I’ve never been to London, Paris, or Barcelona, I’ve been to Ust-Labinsk, Tihany, and Nerja!

-Constant comic material as we learn a foreign language and view things through foreign eyes. This is a personal favorite. Read the comments for translation.

-Always desired to be flexible and to be one to easily go with the flow? Here’s your chance!

-The opportunity to learn to deeply trust in the Lord’s ability to provide (support, visas, health care, places to live on furlough…)

-At least a year or two’s worth of freedom from the temptation to eavesdrop. When you don’t understand the language, it is much harder to be an uninvited listener in another person’s conversation.

-Learning the art of courteous disagreement. For example, the babushkas here ALWAYS lovingly tell me that it is only 50 degrees outside and my children should be wearing snow suits. My answer to this sort of loving rebuke? “We’re Americans! We’re tempered!” Never fails. (I LOVE the babushkas, so I would hate to insult them in their kind desire to help, and this answer always is sufficient).

-The feeling of living life on what feels like “Monopoly” money. Of course it is real, but for some reason it still feels like play money to me! (Thankfully I don’t actually spend like it is pretend money.)

-Frequent flier miles on “exotic” airlines like Siberia Air, Air Liberia, and Estonian Air.

-Getting to dream in a foreign language.

-The opportunity to grow one’s palate for interesting foods. Here is an amazing example from one of my favorite missionary mom blogs.

-Playing charades in formal settings. A personal favorite of mine is always the doctor’s office. How would you act out, “No, I would not appreciate a complete annual exam today, thank you. All I want is an ultrasound to see how far along my pregnancy is.” A true (and quite hilarious) story from my first year.

Ok, now it is your turn! What are your favorite “perks” to missionary life? Any funny stories to share?

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11 Responses to “Perks to Missionary Life”


  1. 1 Gina Marie March 18, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    I love the traveling too! It’s particularly easy to travel to other countries from here in Singapore. It’s not unusual to say, “I went up to Bangkok last weekend” or “We’re driving to Malaysia for the day.”

    What I love is seeing my kids play games they would never play in the States, like “let’s make fried rice” or “going to the bicycle repairman.”

    I also love that my husband and I (when we lived in East Asia – I think you might work for the same company that we do) could go out on a date night and talk freely, knowing that no one around us could understand. It’s a strange feeling to be a in a crowd of people and yet have an intimate conversation.

  2. 2 Richelle Wright March 19, 2009 at 8:41 am

    I love the multilingual setting – and the fact that our children are learning at least 2 more languages.

    I love the fact that when the power cuts out unexpectedly, my kids aren’t stumped at what to do… they aren’t dependant on electronics to still have fun.

    I love that they don’t play with barbies… but catch lizards and play with them like most kids would play figurines, etc. I think the funniest thing I’ve ever seen was my children brushing a gecko’s teeth.

    I love our exotic pets… an injured falcon, an owl, a psychotic african grey parrot…, hatching baby lizards.

    I love that my children understand the experience of being a minority, one who is different and an outsider first and foremost because of the color of their skin. It doesn’t make them “color blind” but accepting regardless of color (or language, or religion, or…) because they know what if feels like to be the outsider.

    I love that my kids see God’s miraculous works on a regular basis – because they aren’t mesmerized by too many distractions, and they realized that God answers prayer and that there are things that only He can do.

    Seems so much easier for my kids to appreciate these things while living here in Niger than while on home assignment (we leave for a year in the States in less than 4 months.).

    And, one final thing… Although it causes our heads to spin sometimes, we love going from being the “rich ones” in our land of ministry to the “below the poverty line ones” in our land of birth. Makes us continually reconsider our priorities…

  3. 3 alatvala March 19, 2009 at 8:57 am

    I love those, Richelle! Brushing a gecko’s teeth??? That is HILARIOUS! (Amen to no Barbies/Bratz dolls!)

  4. 4 Jungle Mom March 20, 2009 at 2:29 am

    hello from Paraguay! I have been on the mission field for 25 years and I think this is a great resource you have here! God Bless!

  5. 5 Bethany March 20, 2009 at 7:07 am

    I feel as though I have mastered the art of courteous disagreement. Every African woman tells me to “give him the milk” whenever Elijah is fussy. If I fed him every time he cried, he would be a really really big boy! I also feel like Kwacha (Malawian money) is fake. It’s so funny, but I have no concept of how much I am spending when I am at the store. It all feels like a game.
    I don’t love it all the time, but most times, I enjoy how surprising life can be here in Malawi. Whenever I walk out my door, I can count on the fact that something hilarious and or challenging will happen. It definitely keeps me on my toes.

  6. 6 Jungle Mom March 20, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    I am so glad you did add me to your blog roll as I love hearing from other missionaries!

  7. 7 RebeccaC March 21, 2009 at 5:17 am

    Y’know, one of the biggest perks for me was that we were able to remove our kids from their circle of peers before they hit the teen years. Great way to keep your youth communicating with you: move them into a culture where no one except their parents and a few School of Ministry students speak their language! My oldest may not have been too incredibly keen on the idea in the beginning (she was 12), but she will agree with me that God worked it all out for the best…as usual!

    Please put me on the blogroll! I’m looking forward to reading more!

  8. 8 Julie March 24, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Wow, there are so many blessings to being overseas. I love that my son is multi-cultural, multi-lingual. I love that he’s so content with so little (sticks, cans, one truck).

    I love the diversity of fresh fruits and vegetables and that we eat organic here. I love the beautiful landscapes, people and wildlife (except for when it enters our home!).

    Please add me to your blogroll!

  9. 9 nesting July 28, 2014 at 11:39 pm

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make
    your point. You definitely know what youre talking about, why
    waste your intelligence on just posting videos to your site when you could be
    giving us something informative to read?


  1. 1 Anonymous Trackback on March 18, 2009 at 10:25 pm
  2. 2 Adaraderm Trackback on February 3, 2015 at 11:33 am

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