Missions

This Missionary’s Guilt

Doug & I petting a lion at The Ranch
I live with a lot of guilt as a missionary. Should I buy this or do this? I remember when we purchased our bakkie. We needed a suitable vehicle for the terrain in Mozambique. I questioned: Was this too much money? Will people think it is too nice for a missionary?
Our first Christmas came. A gift above our support was given to us to do with what we wanted. We chose to go to a lodge at Tzaneen which we thought would be relaxing and we would not be thinking so much about not being at home for Christmas. Unfortunately it rained the whole time and a Skype visit with my family singing “We wish you a merry Christmas” threw me into tears. While we made it clear that our time there was provided by a gift, the guilt came as to whether we should have done such a thing. Again, what will our supporters think? Are missionaries allowed to go and visit the different sites their country has to offer?
In a recent email someone alluded to the fact that some people think when we go into Mozambique we are going on a holiday. Let me assure you it is no holiday going into Mozambique. It takes 8-10 hours, depending on how fast the border officials are working and if anyone has vehicle problems, to get to the village of Xicumbane. It is a lot of hard work filled with much dust and sweat. It is where we do the ministry we feel God has called us to do. When we return we usually go to Roman’s for a pizza because we are tired from the day’s drive. Even in that I feel guilty. For next week’s trip I bought a frozen pizza so it would be here for me to fix when we get back instead of going to Roman’s. Can missionaries enjoy an evening out to eat or should all their meals be at home?
Tonight I am going to the movies with some friends. It will be the second movie I have attended since being here in June of 2011. I’m going to have theater popcorn and drink a real fountain soda with ice (those are hard to come by here). I’m sure guilt will follow me home.
I would love to read your thoughts on this subject and especially if you are a missionary and have dealt with the same issues.

4 thoughts on “This Missionary’s Guilt”

  1. Deb,
    My family and I spent 6 years on the field in the Mid-East. The gifts of God are good = all of them. Enjoy your breaks – see them as God's provision – your presence is a service to God, do it in joy, and know that there is always going to be nationals or other missionaries that think you should be doing things a bit differently. It will always be a fact of your life in ministry. Do what you do in grace and in a right spirit but also in freedom. Your national friends will never truly understand what it is to be where you are; and you will never understand what it is to be who they are – that just is in the providence of God, the life He has given to each of you. Enjoy the ice – I remember it being a rare commodity– I would encourage you to not let the enemy, other's opinions (mine included), or even self-doubt rob you of the joy of the gift in these small pleasures.
    Sending love and prayers!
    Jojo

  2. My cousins just returned from serving three years in East Asia. They are back for six months. I believe that you should experience breaks, times of refreshing in the middle of your service. What you do is emotionally exhausting, physically and spiritually probably too. It is okay to experience some of God's blessings and favors. Again, just my opinion but there is no condemnation in Christ. If something is wrong, you will be convicted, repent and be done with it. Otherwise, the enemy is trying to mess with your mind. Many blessings to you as you walk forward in God's plans.

  3. I can imagine how hard that would be for you – personally I have never thought about that issue when I think about missionaries.

    I think you are doing a GREAT job in discerning where to spend your money.

    You are only human – go out for the pizza!

    Love, sandie

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