Missionaries and Alcoholics

In my training for a degree in Social Work, I learned that the families of pastors often function similar to families of alcoholics.

How can that be?

Families of alcoholics have an unstated rule- protect the family image and hide the dysfunction of the alcoholic.

Families of pastors can easily fall into the same trap. To present the image that the family is perfect, all-together, and “worthy” of their pastoral position. Obviously, that can add a lot of stress to children, spouses, and the pastor himself!

Strangely, we have noticed that this must also be true of missionaries.

We imagined that once missionaries were on the field, the pressure to “perform” would be on. We didn’t anticipate that the temptation would begin here at home, fundraising.

So let’s just get this out of the way.

Our family is not perfect. We are imperfect parents. Sometimes we use our “loud voice,” sometimes we say things in anger, and sometimes we put ourselves before our children. We’ve gotten pretty good at needing (and asking for) forgiveness.

Sometimes we over-book and overextend ourselves, disappointing others and ourselves. Sometimes our “yes”es turn into “no”s. Sometimes we start with “no.”

On occasion you will find us lacking proper etiquette or being dressed inappropriately for the event.

Sometimes we grumble.

Sometimes we rent a movie, enjoy a meal out, or take a road trip. Yes, sometimes we are frivolous.

The reality is- we need Jesus. We aren’t missionaries because we have it all together. We aren’t called to ministry because we have something figured out that the rest of the world doesn’t. In fact, we are convinced that missionaries are called not solely for the mission being presented- but also as one more opportunity to grow in their walks with Christ through a new adventure.

And everyone has a mission. Everyone is a missionary. But not every missionary needs to fundraise.

Somehow, the aspect of money increases the pressure to perform. “They won’t support us financially if they know ________.” I’m sure many missionaries get caught up in the image they present for the sake of the finances.

We have felt this temptation. We plan to overcome it. We believe that God will raise up our funds knowing full well that we are imperfect, fallible beings.

We are even more excited to know that the people joining our team have not joined out of a misconception about who we are as a family. They know the dirt and the gems alike. They trust God enough to use creations like us to complete His purposes. Praise the Lord!

Will you consider joining them?

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