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5 Lies People Believe About Missionaries

4. Missionaries all live in huts.

God wants the world to know him. The world includes the villages in Africa and Mongolia, and mountains in places I’ve never heard of. But it also includes the big cities in France, Greece and England. Huts are a reality for some missionaries, but others live in apartments, houses or even on boats.

Unfortunately, some people treat missionaries like they shouldn’t have any comforts at all. In fact, one missionary friend of mine received a Facebook message that scolded her for posting pictures of her family enjoying time together. What?! Missionaries should have fun too.

God doesn’t call us to things in order make our lives terrible. Instead, he wants to do something only he can do by way of our obedience. He’s a kind and loving Father. He wants to use us for his glory, not punish us for our obedience.

5. Missionaries are spiritual heroes.

I’ve heard so many people say, “Missionaries are my heroes.” But let’s be clear, missionaries are normal Christians. They struggle, they forget to spend daily time with God, they get irritated, and they aren’t always nice. Missionaries are just like you. Sure, crossing cultures is incredibly difficult for missionaries, and it changes who they are, but all Christians who follow God’s direction are changed. Missionaries have simply followed his direction to a different locale.

Decisions that change the trajectory of our lives are difficult to make for all believers, “missionary” or not. Obedience brings aches and moments of panic, whether you’re moving to another country, starting a new Bible study or fostering a child—whatever it is that God has asked you to do. People who choose to obey in spite of those difficulties, whether at home or around the globe, are not superheroes, they’re simply followers of Christ.

I’m thankful to have banished the missionary stereotypes I held. And I’m so glad that I’m not confined to the imaginary missionary-mandate I created. Let’s ignore the lies we’ve believed about missionaries and start believing that God can use us all to accomplish his purposes.

This article originally appeared here.