Today and tomorrow, we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of missionary life. All this morning, we talked about risk and what it means to be a missionary in this day and age. Let’s face it: our world has changed and Christian Americans are targets. So, we talked about lots of basic safety and even went over what to do in case of a hostage situation. We went over how to register with the U.S. Embassies in our respective countries, what to do if the government calls for an evacuation, and what to do in case something serious happens overseas. It’s not pretty to talk about, but it’s reality. It all comes down to how committed we are to serve the people we’re called to. We had to write our own “Theology of Suffering” paper this weekend, based on the book of 1 Peter. The goal with this is so that when we get faced with a persecution-type situation, we already know where we stand on it, what we believe, and how God will respond. We touched on exceptionally hard topics, like, should a missionary carry a gun if it’s legal and protect his family? To what extent do we go in protecting our family? How much do we really trust the Lord to protect us AS HE SEES FIT? Most of us will never have to think about these questions and even though Peru is a basically safe country, we still need to keep them in mind. Our world is changing and in five years, Peru may not be as stable as it is now. Who knows what we’ll face? The question is – are we ready to face it? Peter reminds us that suffering is not something that might happen. It WILL. In fact, it’s part of our calling. Not just for us as missionaries, but for you at home as well. It’s a different ballpark when it becomes reality.
This afternoon, we moved onto a not-so-heavy topic: expectations. Our prof started off with asking us what we think it’ll be like to step off the plane, go through customs, who will meet us at the airport, where will we sleep that first night, what/where will be our first meal, what will our housing be like, and what will our team be like? Just in these initial questions, we realized that we all hold expectations of some sort – be them legitimate or not. We spent almost two hours going through legitimate areas where we all have expectations and then figuring out how to filter them and make our expectations more realistic. Basically, the more realistic your expectations, the less culture shock you will experience because you will be ready for it. Tomorrow, we’re covering culture shock. And we’re so anxious to hear what they have to say.
Brian is feeling much better – thank you all for praying! It was beautiful weather here today and we’re looking forward to a nice weekend. We’re planning on going to a place called Chimney Rock this weekend; we’ll be sure to take pictures for ya’ll. 🙂 We’re also going to try a different Presbyterian church this weekend that’s about two seconds down the road from us and is iddy-biddy. Should be fun!
Please keep in touch…let us know your thoughts on these issues, too!