There's this guy we met some few months back, Adam Mosley, who is moving to Nakuru to plant a Vineyard church. I know I know, do we really need another church in Nakuru? That's beside the point, he wrote an insightful blog post, and I thought I could respond to his 10 Things Missionaries Won't Tell You.
1. THEY DON’T HAVE THE TIME OR ENERGY TO WRITE…BUT THEY DO IT FOR YOU.
I can relate to this one. As someone who is not a trained writer it can sometimes be difficult to get the idea or thought from my head to the paper/screen.
Also I tend to to be honest with my feelings while writing, which can get me into trouble. Especially with Kate.
I/we do tend to write from a point of view to inform and relate rather than fundraise. Not that we do not want you to give, we need you to. We just do not want every message you see here to be about getting money from you.
As for the tech aspect he mentions we outsource all that stuff. Our blog is hosted by Typepad, which means we just type and they do all the coding. We send our mass email out through MailChimp, which means the same thing. We just type and they do all the work. (I pay for Typepad but do not yet have a large enough mailing list to have to pay for MailChimp.)
2. FACEBOOK “LIKES” DON’T PAY THE BILLS.
Oh man this is right on. It's great for our egos (go ahead and like our page) and for spreading the word, but one has to take another step beyond the like button and actually donate for it to financially benefit us.
Something that Adam doesn't mention is the lack of privacy on social networks. Anyone can monitor your page, unscrupulous folks and government officials. Which means we have to be careful what we actually post.
3. THEY ASK FOR MONEY BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CHOICE.
Here is where I diverge from Adam a bit. I don't mind asking for money, nor do I mind having to do so. What I don't like is having to craft a fundraising strategy. I hate censoring myself to keep from losing you as a donor or potential donor. Sometimes I fear being myself. (To which my father in law says keep on fearing.)
I am also a bit crazy and believe that God brings us the right people at the right time. Folks who are ready or looking for a place to donate.
I don't end every post with a plea for funds. Come on, we are missionaries. We need donations, and I think everyone is aware of that. I will let you all know if we win the lottery.
4. YOU’LL NEVER HEAR ABOUT THEIR WORST DAYS.
This one is pretty much true for me. Kate and I do try and be open and "real", but some struggles are hard to share in such an open forum.
Though I am tempted to write about aging. I'm sure you all want to hear about a 40 year old fat man's changing body.
5. THEY NEED A VACATION…BUT WON’T TELL YOU IF THEY TAKE ONE.
Partly true for us. We need a vacation. Really we could use one this August. Not likely, but if it happens I promise you will hear and see all about it.
The beach sounds nice. Just imagine all the cute ~Eowyn pictures we could get, you could see me, Johnny, enjoying a frozen drink while lounging in the sand, and all the pics of Kate in her bikini I can covertly take and post! See lots of Facebook potential in a vacation.
6. HOSTING TEAMS IS A NIGHTMARE.
Sounds about right. We have never hosted a large group before, so no experience here for us.
However we are willing to get our feet wet. So if you like traveling in a group, welcome.
7. “GOING HOME” IS A LOT OF WORK.
So true. We do not even consider a trip to the U.S., mostly because of the expense. $12,000 for all 7 of us Americans last time I checked! We could build another house for that, even buy more acreage or a newer vehicle. Then there is the logistics of being in the U.S. Transportation, housing, food, and staying fresh for speaking engagements.
8. IT’S EASY FOR GOD TO TAKE A BACK SEAT IN THEIR LIFE.
I am on the other side of Adam here, meaning I disagree. I feel closer to God because of what I am doing. It does help if you eliminate all religious obligation from your life. If I don't read the Bible today (haven't), no guilt. If the first thing I think of when waking up in the morning is bathing, no guilt. God dosen't care about the tricks we do to try and stay close to Him. He is always close no matter what.
I do not feel called to this life. This life is the only logical way for me to live out my faith. That takes off so much pressure to perform. I just live and do good while living.
9. IT’S HARD TO TRUST PEOPLE.
True. We have been lied to, promised funds which never materialized, stolen from, and physically assaulted. In fact I have to work hard to not become too cynical. I say too, because I'm a cynic at heart.
10. THEY ARE LONELY.
Personally I love being alone. Seriously. Love it. Kate on the other hand has been lonely here in Kenya. Looking different than everyone else only compounds the loneliness. However we have pushed through and now have a network of friends and acquaintances.
Fantastic list Adam. I'm a bit jealous. I have yet to write a blog post that was so popular that my bandwidth was exceeded. I hope you guys find much success here in Kenya.