“How Are Your Parents Doing These Days?” — Questions You Can Ask a Missionary, Part 9
Our friends (and fellow missionaries) Keith and Lori Doster recently linked to an article about stressors that missionaries face. The original article is called 12 Questions You Can Ask a Missionary to Help Them Stay on the Field. Missionaries are not unique to these stressors; however, they do face them in situations where they often feel vulnerable and lonely.
If you know any missionaries, I encourage you to support and encourage them by asking one or more of these questions (but not all 12 at once!). For the sake of our friends, supports, and blog-readers, I wanted to proactively answer these questions over the next few months. (Of course, feel free to ask us these questions personally.)
Question 9: “How are your parents doing these days?”
This is another question (along with #3: Language Barriers) that applies more to overseas missionaries than to stateside ones. We live two hours from my parents and three hours from Joanna’s, so we are able to see them often (though not as often as they would like, I’m sure).
And even if our parents did need something, we each have siblings that live near our parents. Sure, our parents are getting older (Joanna’s dad is some are older than the others), but they are willing and able to remain active.
Our families have been extremely supportive of the choice we made to live in Allendale. They have loved us, encouraged us, and supported us financially. We are blessed.
A Big Deal for Other Missionaries
When I think about this stressor, I get a better appreciation for families like the Osborns and the Dosters. They just can’t hop in a car to see their families, and their families can’t return the favor.
Then I think of it from the other perspective. The Osborns’ parents have grandkids that live on the complete opposite end of the earth! I can’t imagine what it would be like to see my children and grand-children follow Jesus in this way. I guess that it would be satisfying, joyous, and heart-breaking all at the same time.
There are thousands of missionaries like them, sent by the Spirit to the far reaches of the earth. I am thankful for everyone who serves overseas in the name of Jesus, and for their families who helped prepare them to go.
“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison–your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters–yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26
I’d love for you to answer this in the comments: Do you know any overseas missionaries? Where are they serving?