7. “We’re all natural language learners.” That’s not the case. Language learning is difficult, and even those who know the language well might still struggle. Some long-term missionaries never fully master their language—but they press on because they want to share the gospel with their people group. Language learners need our prayers.
8. “Evangelism is easy for us.” Not only is it hard to move a conversation to the gospel, but missionaries must also do that in a second language. Even those believers who go to the ends of the earth still wrestle with engaging somebody with the gospel.
9. “All of us took a vow of poverty.” Not so. They’re serving God, but we need to treat them as worthy of their hire. In fact, some missionaries live in places where the cost of living is quite high.
10. “We’re all living in a revival.” Many are still waiting for someone among their people group to follow Jesus. Some are themselves struggling to find daily joy. Missionary living is not always on the mountaintop.
Return tomorrow for the next 10 misperceptions about missionaries. In the meantime, pray for missionaries today.
Yesterday, I posted 10 misperceptions about missionaries. If you didn’t read that post, I encourage you to go there now. Here are 10 more misperceptions:
1. “We’re never afraid.” Missionaries are faithful people, but fear can be a reality. Depending on where they serve, they may face public opposition, violence, threats, natural disasters and strange illnesses. Some live continually ready to flee their area if necessary.
2. “We don’t need support from our home churches.” Many missionaries look forward to encouragement, support, relationships and visits from the churches that sent them. They recognize it when churches seem to have forgotten them.
3. “Saying ‘good-bye’ gets easier over the years.” The good-byes for missionaries are numerous and seemingly continual: to family and friends the first time they leave home, and then each time they return to the field after a furlough; to friends on the field each time they return to the United States; to graduating children who go to college; to colleagues who leave the field; to aging parents, likely for the final time. It never gets easier.