Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Real Missionary Women...

Through creating a Baptist Missionary Women on Facebook our little group has grown to over 500 missionary ladies from around the world. We have made friends with one another and shared burdens, stories, and laughs to encourage one another. Recently, my family and I had to go without water for two days.  Another missionary lady friend of mine, who I met thanks to our FB page, and I began discussing those missionary life "events" that make us laugh; well, some times after the fact! The moments when we feel like real missionary women!
We asked other missionary ladies to share some of their missionary life moments by finishing the sentence, "Real Missionary Women...." The response was amazing! We all so enjoyed reading one another's answers that we thought we should share them here with you!

Real Missionary Women...

...know how to kill any rodents that crosses her path.

...don't have a home to live in while on furlough.

...are really homeless.

...can sleep anywhere!

...don't always have electricity.

....wear the same clothes days on end to save on washing.

...know that home is where the suitcase is.

...can choke down all sorts of strange foods, and keep a smile while they do so.

...always feel like a foreigner (on their field and when on furlough in the States).

...mix languages and thinks everyone should understand what they are saying.

....know where the clean bathrooms are on every interstate in America. the bugs.

....don't flush (when they don't have water).

...are language mix masters.

...are recipe substitution whizzes.

...are candle hoarders (for when the electricity is out).

...are machete-wielding wild women. with fire.

..know the difference between "Eastern" and "Western"...toilets that is!

...are roach killers!

...prefer bumpy roads.

...are expert bug-killers and rat catchers.

..."Google" often.

...know how to be the plumber, electrician, nurse, exterminator, professor, music lesson instructor, chef, and laundry maid (by hand).

...have a "backup plan" for the "backup plan.

...learn to not ask too many questions when it comes to foreign food

...can create 15 different dishes out of the same ingredient

...know how to bargain to get the same price that all the nationals get.

...know how to pack!

...prefer the scent of mosquito spray over perfume.

...can make almost anything from scratch.

...can bathe three kids in 1 gallon of water.

.....can tweak ANY recipe.

...use the metric system.

...use a vacuum cleaner for more than just dirt.

...can even get rid of baby bats with a shop vac!

...knows an imported from America food item when she sees one!

...border hop to find the best deals on groceries.

...know what a true meltdown is! When it rains, it pours!!

...carry currency from at least two different countries in their purses just in case!

...know where to find copy cat recipes to favorite meals.

...appreciate toilet paper...or banana leaves. for hours to find recipes for things ladies back home would have a nervous breakdown if they had to make them themselves.

...know how to sing "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" when it's 100 degrees outside in December.

...wonder if the power will be on all day, so she can use her crock pot.

...try to figure out a way to get the bugs she's just discovered in her precious spice jar out so she doesn't have to throw it away.

...get out of bed in the middle of the night to do laundry when water can be heard pumping into the water tank.

...carry toilet paper in their car.

...buys her meat in the open market early in the morning in order to get it fresh and without too many flies all over it. Then she brings it home and grinds it into mince (ground beef).

...can use an outhouse while wearing her purse around her neck.

...can stand in line at McDonald's and have to ask what certain items are while those around look at her as if she's an alien.

...go ballistic when they get a letter in the mail.

...always carry plastic bags as "trash cans" for baby diapers or whatever might be needed, anti-bacterial wipes for hand washing, and tissues or a big ol' roll of tp in their purses just in case. plastic bags for going shopping.

...carry plastic bags in their purse because they never know when their kids will throw up from carsickness or the food.

...crack eggs open in a separate bowl just in case there's a little "chicky" in it!

...know how to fire up the generator.

...thank God daily for water, electricity and safety. something if they see it because she may never see it again.

...overhears their kids singing hymns in another language.

...thinks a mosquito is equally as dangerous as a terrorist.

...always carry toilet paper in their purses...or know how to use whatever may be available.

...know how to use squat toilets.

...can use a squat potty on a moving train!

...know where the good toilets are in town.

...shouldn't but can hold out for the one bathroom on the three hour trip that is "safe".

...can use a public bathroom without touching anything, while parking the older children just outside but within earshot, and all while 9 months pregnant!

...have to start to teach their kids to put the TP IN the toilet instead of the trash can!

...can work wonders with three squares of TP.

...(their) children hardly know "Jesus Loves Me" in English but pick another language and they can sing all three stanzas!

...have to teach her kids the English words to hymns before furlough.

...speak at least three languages: their native language, their host country language, and the one their family mixes between the two at home.

...don't even blink when their husband gets excited preaching and invites the whole church over for dinner to keep talking!

...get excited when someone says "How are you" in ENGLISH!

...know you can always add more water to the beans and feed a few more!

...are pretty sure there will be bathtubs and dishwashers in heaven.

...wonder how come they weren't born in their host country as they they cannot imagine living anywhere else except for maybe Cancun or the home department at Sears!

...are just enjoying the journey on their way HOME!

...thinks a great visited with family is a SKYPE date with only one or two Internet troubles.

...squeal when they find someone from their host country on the streets of small town USA! Oh and then they proceed to have 15 minute conversation that only they and their new friend, understand, AND somehow find the strength to endure another 6 months of furlough!

...are always surprised when the food they said "I will NEVER eat that!" actually tastes good!

...have been locked inside their own outhouse...during a thunderstorm... waiting for one of the family to notice her absence.

...know how to clean a dirt floor.

...can either make it, make do, or do without nearly anything.

...are honestly thankful for a hot shower.

...don't take the statement, "You look hot," as a compliment.

...have learned to give thanks for water outages- it means she doesn't need to feel guilty about leaving the dishes overnight!

...have learned to overcome aversions to creepy crawlies so she can protect her kids from them.

...know how to make food stretch for when unexpected company stops by.

...can feed their kids rice for days on end and make it seem fun by allowing them to add their own "toppings". and wave at the nationals peeking in their windows… and usually ask them in for coffee.

...become overwhelmed with all the craziness in America and can't wait to get "home" to where there aren't so many choices and grocery shopping is a breeze!

...become "out of touch" with many family members, but closer than sisters to their fellow missionary wives.

...may not be able to give you the latest fashion advice, but can give detailed instructions on how to mend clothing and make it last for years until the next furlough.

...take about two weeks on furlough before they remember to speak English everywhere!

...realize we have chosen a life that involves ALWAYS saying goodbye to someone, but still wouldn't trade it for the world!

...are paralyzed every time they go down the cereal aisle at Walmart in the States...and some have been known to pass out when they see their favorite style skirt or blouse in their size in 5 colors on clearance for $6.99 at JC Penney!

...smell all the stuff that comes in a box from the US. It just smells different! a second glance when passing a white person because it HAS to be someone you know.

...can't give a quick answer to the question, "Where are you from?"

...weep over and cherish a gift of scented candles and bath & body trial size lotions and gels!

...after some point stop killing the bugs and chasing the lizards out of their house and just start ignoring/living with them. (Scorpions and ticks are the only exception to this rule). If you don't squash them, you don't have to clean them up!

...wear bug repellent on an evening date with their husband.

...(the ones with boyfriends or fiancees back in the states anyways), say a SKYPE call is a date. And have only been out on a real date twice. The second time is when you get engaged.

...have kids that think white people are weird.

...have kids who think a bathroom with A/C in it is disgusting.

...make their kids use lice shampoo every week...just in case.

...use a lice comb instead of a brush to get tangles and anything else that might be in their hair!

...have memorized the book, "Where There is No Doctor".

...(Mommas) laugh when they overhear their 9-year old daughter admonishing their 4 -year old daughter (while in a bath together) that she had better stop goofing around and really enjoy this bathtub 'cause it will be all showers for the next four years.To which said 4-year old replied that she preferred showers anyway, "cold ones".

...have a thousand great stories for all these hilarious lessons learned on the job. like maniacs! (if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!)

...learn to take "You're so fat!" as a compliment. (in some countries it really is a compliment!) and appreciate Facebook more than the average person!

...are scared to death of automatic flushing toilets.

...have washed their hair in a river

...regret finding out what was in the soup

...(in the Bush) use bleach like it's goin' out of style!

...bathe their kids AFTER church instead of before!

...always know where to find their children when they are attending services in their home church on the water fountain holding up the line while they push the button over and over again to try to figure out where the water is coming from!

...are so thankful for being able to speak a foreign language while on furlough so they can chew out their kids for acting up during a meeting without most people understanding what they said!

...(in cold regions) have children who think air conditioning is the most fascinating thing! longer think that "they all look alike".

...aren't bothered by seeing their husbands holding hands with another man... or by holding hands with your own lady friends!

...think they've died and gone to heaven when they walk into a craft store (A.C. Moore, Michael's, etc.).

...get so overwhelmed when they visit the States that they have a car accident after driving for 4 years accident free in their crazy traffic country (true story!).

...know how to cover up the taste of anything with mashed potatoes (in the States).

...are FLEXIBLE.

...know that bumpers are meant for bumping.

...think it's normal to leave church with lipstick kisses all over their cheek.

...can improvise in almost any situation

...forget how to work a shower properly when they go to the States for a visit, because they are used to using a bath tub instead! (or the opposite)

...can change their menu to suit what food they can find at the store

...can live without hairdressers, shoe shops, dentists, doctors, and schools.

...don't need an oven to bake a cake.

...can make a cake with out eggs.

...can sew on a hand powered sewing machine.

...become nurse and doctor to family and church members.

...can sit for hours on a bench with out a back.

...would have no problems serving in the foreign legion.

...can work quite well in the dark.

...can go from cooking dinner on a stove to outside on a fire in less than ten minutes, when the electricity goes off.

...learn fast what wood burns best and what wood just smokes.

...can sweat in style.

...hope that their children will not enter the kitchen while they are fishing the weevils out of the breakfast oatmeal.

...get choked up when they hear their home country's national anthem - in a much different way than before they went on the foreign field.

...realize their 'problems' on their particular field are so much less than they could have been elsewhere (unless you live 'elsewhere').

...(in third world countries) don't worry about clothing fashion because no one knows or cares what the latest styles are! (a perk, I must say!)

...about to go on furlough start freaking out because now they have to start caring about clothing and hair fashion!

...can NEVER throw away a Zip-lock bag! There are two stacks, the ones that still hold liquids and those that don't.

...know how to stretch a bag of chocolate chips for 6 batches of cookies!

...real missionary women, learn to adapt.

...have to ask people to repeat what they said once they return to the states because they don't understand the accent.

...cry in Walmart. Every. Time. all the Hershey's syrup they've got, because they don't know when they'll see it again. 

...constantly think in Spanglish because they can't remember their English.

...speak English in the syntax of the foreign language. like maniacs and get into wrecks because the other driver WAS following traffic laws.

...can't sleep in the States because there are no high fences around the yards.

...can't wait to go home after furlough! 

...can relate to each other across oceans, age differences, languages, and experience levels!

...admire that Mrs. Taylor, Mrs. Judson. Mrs. Carey, Amy Carmichael and many others blazed a trail without kitchen aid mixers, Skype, indoor plumbing, and monthly financial support!

...can be so lonely in a foreign city yet know in their heart they would never choose to leave!

...are crazy & our lives are crazy; but we would not change it for anything!

Real missionary women, are all the lovely ladies out there, who are willing to decrease so that Christ can increase in their lives.
They are all willing to give up every home comfort and everything familiar to them in order to reach those wonderful people in the countries they are serving in for Christ.



Sheri Winkler said...

Loved this! Can add some - has learned to sleep (at least some of the night) through the neighbor's loud music.

Has to explain to their children after reading a book from the States, what a garbage truck and a dishwasher are.

Learns to appreciate when the mosque only does the prayer call at 5 a.m. and does not read from the Qoran.

Arrives at a wedding with a book to read and toys for the children to play with. (Because she knows the wedding will not start on time!)

_ Sheri Winkler, Uganda :)

Becca S said...

Thanks to Sherri Winkler for sharing this on facebook! Oh how I can relate to so many of these!! I have to share this with my husband :) Especially the ones about driving...SO true!

Rebecca Sinclair
missionary to Cameroon, Africa

Tammy Siekbert said...

Just yesterday Mark was pulled over and the policeman took away his license plates and papers for the car because there is a hole in the bumper. It made me think of the one about "bumpers are meant for bumping" :). On our way home, we passed about 10 other cars with either messed up bumpers or no bumper.