The MK Song

The audio quality (not to mention the enunciation) isn’t great on this one and I’m still looking for the lyrics.

This song fills me with too many conflicting emotions to count. On the one hand, it describes probably the least efficient and most stressful system for creating missionaries that has ever been devised (not to mention a sort of glorification of the entire process). On the other hand, it’s about my life and experiences that were formative for who I am today. I really did ride in the rusty van.

I think at least a few of my fellow MKs out there will get what I’m talking about. The rest you will just have to forgive my rambling run down memory lane.

101 thoughts on “The MK Song”

  1. My first first.
    Back to the topic at hand, while not a MK, I did feel sorry for the MKs that would come through our church. The IFB way of creating missionaries is definitely inefficient. The SBC I attended a few years back participated in a program where you gave a set amount to missions through the year. Seemed alot better than the $25 or $50 that the missionary families would get per month from the IFB church.

    1. maybe one thing about the SBC way that you are not aware of is that they have not put a new missionary on the field in years becuase giving is so low. I live in Paraguay, South America and my SBC missionary friends are being pulled out and shuffled around because there are just not enough funds to keep things as they were.

      Deputation/Furlough stink, I speak from experience. It does make a lot more sense on paper to do it the SBC way, but it isn’t working like it used to. When someone meets a missionary in their church and knows their face and their family, it changes the way they think about giving towards missions.

      1. Wow! I did not know that about the convention. We stayed at that particular church for two years and when we left I felt as unattached as the first day we went. Probably part of my dislike for almost anything “Baptist” now too…

        1. This is not accurate. I live within 5 miles of the SBC’s “flag ship seminary”, and am friends with several of the IMB staff over there. They have commissioned three missionaries from my church alone in the last year.

        2. That may be true, but I think if you look, it may be that they are not commissioned and sent with funds via the Lottie Moon Fund. I have heard this directly from SBC missioaries friends of mine in the South American country I currently serve in.

        3. That’s not quite how it works. They draw a salary from the IMB. The IMB gets most of its funds from Lottie Moon. They don’t know exactly where the money comes from. But, no one seemed to have experienced anything like a money shortage. Lots of talk about calling and direction, but never money. Of course, I only know half a dozen or so, so this may not be a universal experience.

  2. The deputation process (I almost typed deposition) was the reason I never became one. I could not fathom taking 3-4 years to gather support.

    Why don’t they do what Bruchko did; buy a one-way ticket to the Amazon, and walk into the jungle.

    1. You must be really committed to missions if DEPUTATION is the reason you decided not to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. Your comment made me laugh! Thanks

      1. Having been through it, I can completely understand why it would be a deterrent to people who would otherwise be happy to go and serve.

        Ironically, many of the people who did make it through deputation were not at all fit to be missionaries. They were just good at raising money.

        1. I really believe that was a big problem for us as we attempted deputation. I never understood why my 20+ years of experience in the type of ministry I wanted to continue in another country took a backseat to my lack of salesmanship. Especially to someone unproven in any type of ministry.

          Oh. yeah–“Sorry, sir. You don’t claim to be a church planter. You’re just not a real missionary.”

        2. Wonder what ever happened to the Acts 13 model: two of the five pastors sent out by the church! That model is totally disregarded in IFB churches. Btw, we raised our support in 11 months in 1994 – and realized that the flash gets the cash in IFB circles.

          Thankfully we are not part of that system any longer.

        3. My parents were on deputation for four years.

          My dad is soft-spoken, not a believer in hard-sell invitations, and not a believer in cold-call “soul-winning.”

    2. Because most of them got married right out of Fundy U and already have four kids.

      You can’t just walk into the jungle with kids. Or at least you shouldn’t if you’re any kind of decent human being.

        1. I was not an MK, but, living in Costa Rica where the Spanish Language school for missionaries resides, I got to meet many missionaries and their kids. Especially at the Christian school where I went from first grade until graduating from high school.

          I know Barbara Kingsolver claims she made those characters up, BUT, I KNOW those girls. They were classmates of mine!

    3. Paul wrote in Scripture that a man or woman can serve God more fully and effectively if he or she is unmarried.

      I remember that that was Jim Elliot’s original decision too. He felt God had called him to be single, at least for that time.

        1. I do think he was speaking for himself when he said that he wished all men were as single as he was! But it’s true when he writes, “An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairsβ€”how he can please the Lord. But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this worldβ€”how he can please his wifeβ€” 34and his interests are divided.” Of course, pleasing his wife IS pleasing the Lord in one sense. But a married man can’t (or at least shouldn’t) have a total focus on ministry. Many pastors have done that and lost their children who grow up resenting God and the church that kept their dad so preoccupied.

          My husband could easily spend all day planning, studying, counseling, and meeting people and then go out all evening working out with one guy, playing basketball with another, all of which DOES count as discipleship as the guys talk about deep things of the Lord as they bond over sports. BUT he’s got a wife and children at home and sometimes I have to remind him, “Yeah, that guy needs a mentor, but it needs to be someone else because WE NEED YOU AT HOME TONIGHT!!!”

          I’m actually GLAD that Paul wrote that, because it’s in Scripture acknowledging that a married man is SUPPOSED to please his wife, even if it takes away from things that he thinks are more spiritual.

          When the choice is another church meeting or an evening cuddling on the couch with popcorn and a DVD with the kids, the family time doesn’t seem as spiritual, but it is ESSENTIAL and Paul knows that a married man has got to take care of his family.

        2. We have had MANY single missionaries in Latin America: they are called Roman Catholic priests.

          I’ve met some good ones, some not so good.

          Yes, some single missionaries are great, as Paul seemed to think, but then there is the other side of the coin.

          One of my favorite missionaries in Costa Rica has NEVER mentioned the ministry his wife has had with the La Leche league, which, frankly, has had way more impact on Latina women than anything my friend could have or has done!

        3. To a certain extent, even non-fundy churches seem to see missionary couples as “the MISSIONARY and his wife” instead of seeing them both as missionaries, both with vital ministries to the people in the area. The wife’s ministry is often overlook, unfortunately, even if she is actually reaching more people then he is. πŸ™

        4. This is one thing that always burned me up whenever the church had missionaries. She’s not referred to as a missionary, only a missionary wife. The wife of a missionary, not a missionary herself. Just his helpmeet. Blah! πŸ‘Ώ

          Sometimes in my former church in Michigan the pastor would say, “Brother so and so is here to present his work to such and such a place and now he will tell us about it…” rather than saying, “The such and such family is here to present their ministry to such and such a place…” before asking the missionary brother to tell us about it. It wasn’t that the husband/father was going to present it that bothered me, but the fact that the pastor totally ignored the family as though they did not exist. It was then up to the missionary man himself to introduce his family.

          But this particular pastor, I can’t tell you how many times I longed to slap him! πŸ‘Ώ

  3. For some kids to be on their best behavior so often in so many different circumstances, must be pure, well, you fill in the blank. When they become teenagers, they realize they’re behaving just to impress pastors and churches to gain or maintain support. I’ve never been an mk or a missionary, but I don’t think our family would have survived living this kind of life.

  4. I always felt sorry for MK’s coming through our churches, having to be in a different church every week and having to show exemplary behavior because there was a lot of pressure on them. I always felt most sorry for the wife though. If life on the mission field wasn’t hard enough, deputation was sure no picnic with traveling by car from meeting to meeting with kids trying to keep them entertained and praying your vehicle didn’t fall apart and you had enough money for gas, and then there were the churches that not only didn’t take you on but never even gave you a love offering… πŸ˜₯

    Never been a missionary or MK but after years in the IFB I know these things… πŸ™„

    1. I grew up in a small church, but we had a few missionary families come through. I always LOVED meeting them. When I was in elementary school, the missionaries often stayed in our house, and we kids were always excited if there were CHILDREN in the family to stay with us! I never thought to feel sorry for them; I just thought their lives were exciting – getting to travel and meet lots of people and getting to serve Jesus so completely. I wanted to be a missionary myself, but as I grew older I realized that I wouldn’t make a good one because I didn’t like soul-winning!

      1. I never really felt sorry for us or other MKs while we were in the middle of it. There was a sort of fierce pride in the “hardships” because we were doing what other people wouldn’t or couldn’t.

        It wasn’t until I grew up and the reality of those years set in that I started to realize how rough things were sometimes and how much we depended on the kindness of strangers just to eat.

        1. Darrell, I don’t understand this site. I never knew you grew up in a Christian home. I just thought you hated Christians because they are weird. Do you or your fellow posters ever think you’re spending just a bit too much time with your obsession and dislike of anything related to religion and/or Christianity? Don’t you think you’d be a lot happier just getting over the fact that you were raised by Christians and moving on with your lives? After all, if God is dead, do you think he really cares that you hate him?

        2. I’ve told you repeatedly that I don’t hate Christians. I am one. And if you didn’t know I was raised in a Christian home it’s because you aren’t paying attention.

  5. I like the wordplay; “I’ve seen people eat snakes and snakes eat people.” I also like the appreciation for the broader range of experiences than your average American kid. I do wonder why they are all clinging to each other.

  6. After 5 1/2 years of attempting to get to a field, I’ll agree about the stress and inefficiency of the deputation system. There has to be a better model to follow than this. My kids were all in their teens when we started, so it was a little different, maybe harder, than small children. Never knowing until you show up what type of church it is was tough for them. It could be uber-fundy, or [sarcasm alert] “a relaxed bunch of liberals”.

    At some churches, they were treated like zoo animals, others accepted and made them to feel at home immediately. And there was no way to predict it. They still have friends they keep in contact with from a very fundy church, one that while pretty strong KJV, didn’t let it interfere with their decision to support.

    I guess they never were, technically, MKs, but they at least have an idea of what the visiting kids are going through. Maybe that will help them one day in a church ministry somewhere.

    1. When my parents were on deputation they had five children under the age of five.

      We also did year-long furloughs (not a vacation, fyi) when I was 11 and 16.

      Lots and lots of memories crammed into those years.

      1. Furlough is certainly the wrong word. With a year to report to 75 or so churches, most of which want to know how their 25 or 50 dollars a month is being spent and what “our” missionary is doing, it definitively isn’t a lot of R&R.

      2. I remember two weeks with missions conferences back to back.

        Services every night with two speakers each night. Performing special music. Hours spent standing at the display table.

        We all worked hard for that $35/month

        1. I feel a rant coming on…

          What is it with these churches that support missionaries at $30 or so a month?? When I first got into church years and years ago, $30 was what was being sent to the missionaries then. HAVEN’T YOU PEOPLE EVER HEARD OF INFLATION? If a pastor’s salary back then was $20K and today, he makes $60K, then the standard missionary support should be AT LEAST $100. This is just a disgraceful practice – many fundamental churches won’t take on a missionary unless he is “in their circle” or recommended by one of their friends. At $30 / month, in this day and time, that can be 100 churches or more needing to support him – and he just doesn’t have that many — not to mention that the hectic pace to try to get in touch with all of the supporting churches.

          Let’s get rid of the pride in saying “We support 1,000 missionaries” – instead of $1000 at $30/month, how about 60 at $500/month?

          OK, rant passing away now…

        2. I’ll take it up. You’re exactly right. I’ve often thought the whole thing of missionary support should be completely overhauled. Instead of supporting many many missionaries for a small sum per month (more if they are from your church) it would be better to provide 100% support for a few missionary families. There are a few good reasons for this.

          First, if your church provided ALL of a missionary’s support that missionary can come home on furlough and actually rest during that 6 months or a year. They only have one church to account to, yours. If the husband and wife grew up in different churches, maybe each church could provide 50%. But if it’s all done by one church, those missionaries don’t have to spend that entire period traveling from church to church to account to each church of what they’re doing on the field. It’s become necessary that they spend that time trying to raise more support due to inflation, as you’ve mentioned, so it’s not just to visit and give an update and show slides, but to ask for more support! In what way is this resting?

          Second, if your church supported say, 5 missionary families in total, it would be much easier for the church members to really get to know them and their kids, their needs, and the needs on the field. They wouldn’t have so many families to pray for and try to remember. It would be easier to remember to send birthday cards and letters etc, if there are only a few. It’s impossible to have the time to pray for 100 or more families who your church is supporting for only a few dollars a month. If the church is made aware of the needs of their few missionaries it would be easier to keep tabs on them and see that the needs are met. :mrgreen:

        3. The reason why churches don’t do this is the reality of fundamentalism.

          1. Churches split and die all the time. If one church is responsible for half your income (or all of it) then you’re only one budget cut or deacon board coup away from losing your income.

          2. Fundies like to separate from people. The list of doctrinal requirement or version requirements or “we only support missionaries from x college” are ever shifting and changing. Again, if you’re a missionary in Tibet you don’t want to make the choice between losing all your income or teaching all your people English so they can read the KJV.

          So you distribute out the income over a large area and hope that most of the churches 1) survive and 2) don’t get too crazy.

        4. But if they don’t have lots of missionaries, how can they have a cool display board in the lobby showing how their church REACHES PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE??? (sarcasm)

          I totally agree with you, Machushlalondra. Sadly, though, Darrell, you’re right that it’s impractical to have only a couple churches supporting you because fundies are always finding fault to pick; if they drop you, you’d have to come off the field.

        5. Pardon me while I grrrrr! πŸ‘Ώ Yeah fundies are like that. Instead of trying to act like sane civilized people, they let these stupid piddly things separate them and that missionary suffers, and the people they are trying to reach. Talk about fundy guilt, this time justified, if that missionary has to come off the field for lack of support which is all based on their idiot argument that caused a church split, they SHOULD feel guilty! What about the church they have established there which now has no pastor? It may be a fledgling church which can’t support him by themselves, and they need that support from their church(es) in the states. Now this is one area I think God will be displeased with them, much more so than that KJV issue or the issue of women’s dress, whatever. πŸ™„ Isn’t getting the gospel out more important? But that’s thinking logically isn’t it, not something fundies are very good at! πŸ‘Ώ

        6. When I first started at my not-quite-fundy church we supported about 8 missionaries at $50 a month. I always felt bad about that. Over the years we have expanded to 15 or so missionaries at $130. Still not life changing for the missionaries but it might pay a bill. The interesting thing is that every time we have increased support an increase in offerings followed.

        7. The main reason support is not done the Bible way is that the missionary of today has made it his life’s career. The Bible model is short term, not with the desire to remain on one field.

        8. I know a pastor who didn’t take on too many new missionaries, but when he did, he took them on for like $500 a month.

          Our church takes missionaries on for between $75 and $100 a month. I think our church also supports about 43 missionaries as well. Which is very decent for a church our size.

          I’d rather see a church support 20 missionaries for 100 or 200 a month than a church claim they “support” 400 missionaries at $10 a month. After the mission board gets a hold the funds, the missionary sees maybe $6-7 of every 10 they get.

        9. @Macushlalondra: I agree with Darrell that one church supporting a missionary would mean that the missionary would have to come home if anything happened to the one church. That’s why I prefer that a small group (no more than a dozen) of churches support a missionary. One going down would hurt, but it wouldn’t be (hopefully) disastrous.

          I agree that they way churches support their missionaries should be overhauled.

      3. I was born on my parents 1st furlough (the only child of 6 not born on the field).

        Was on furlough for 1st, 6th, and 11th grades and graduated from high school on the field.

        Loved traveling with my folks during the 11th grade furlough year because of all the pretty girls in all those churches we visited!

      4. We’ve done one year long “furlough” as a family and it was the most stressful and difficult time in my marriage and ministry. From now on, we will be doing 6 months at the longest and only that long so that my family can get to know my kids.

        One of the best things about heaven will definitely be the fact that there will be no goodbyes.

        1. Goodbyes are terrible.

          I was sitting in church yesterday when I suddenly and inexplicably was hit with a strong sense of longing for an older deacon’s wife at our church; our kids had called her grandma. They left our church during the split without even saying “goodbye.” I don’t know what made me miss her so much yesterday.

          Sometimes I hate loving people.

        2. Because I’m intimidated. Her husband cursed at my husband on the phone before he left.

          I think it would take confidence and humility that I don’t have for me to reach out to her after I was kicked to the curb.

        3. I wish my former Pastor’s Wife would contact me. I know she won’t though. And of course it is a completely different situation, but I miss her. I bet your friend misses you too. She isn’t necessarily responsible for her husband’s thoughts, attitudes and actions. Well, I guess it is a similar enough situation…

        4. @PW. I understand how you feel but remember the phone works both ways. I can sometimes feel guilty or not friendly enough for not calling so and so but then I realize why do I think it’s all on me to keep in touch?

        5. PW, I think the desire you felt to speak to this woman was probably from God, He knows she’s ready to reconcile. Maybe now is the right time! I hope you will get in contact with her or she with you. πŸ™‚

    2. FWIW we really enjoyed deputation. We didn’t really have any horror stories to tell about it. Sure, it got hard and tiresome sometimes but we still liked it.

      We enjoyed being missionaries overseas as well. It was an experience that completely changed our outlooks on life. To be honest, I don’t miss being a fundy but I do miss living overseas. Not many people speak the language where I live so I am stuck watching the national TV channels online to keep up with events there. It is not the same.

  7. Darrell–I have a tape a missionary teacher from Chile named Grady Toland made in a concert at Cedarville College in the late 80’s or early 90’s. This is one of his songs. It is called “Another Christian Tape! Again!”. It seems to still be available in their bookstore for a whopping $5.00. I recommend it. The political humor is dated, but as I tell my kids, “To you this is history. To me, current events.”

    1. That’s an excellent book – my wife and I went through some extensive training on TCKs and their mindset/worldview before we went overseas to work [primarily] with MKs in an international school.

      As much as we’re enjoying life back in the US, there’s a part of us that wishes our daughter was growing up overseas…

  8. All right, let me get a little critical of some lyrics:

    “Never owned a new car; never been a football star” — you can live in the States all your life and missed out on these too. (My public school was too small for football, and my husband and I have been married for almost 20 years and never owned a new car.) This is kind of a stereotypical view of “normal” American life.

    “No place in the world that I wouldn’t go if the Lord God sent me there” — this can be true of any Christian not just an MK.

    And there are a couple lines that play into the hierarchical idea that pastors and missionaries are somehow holier or more spiritual or more dedicated than Christians with secular jobs: “If there’s any better life, I couldn’t name it” and “You can tell your folks you wanna be an MK too.”

    I don’t mean to be too cynical; I AM happy if these young people are accepting and appreciative of the life they had as MKs. And I greatly appreciate missionaries who do leave the comforts and the friends here in America to go to another country. But we’re ALL needed in the body of Christ; no one is better or more important than another. And as for begging your parents to be missionaries too, let me just say, “If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be?”

    1. I completely agree with you. People here in the States stereotype missionaries (I got asked what foreign languages I speak about every 10 seconds) but missionaries also tend to stereotype the “easy” life of those back in the US as well.

      And the hierarchy thing almost goes without saying. I think it was a shock to my parents when they ended up as plain old school teachers instead of “the missionary family.” It’s quite a demotion in the fundyland way of looking at things.

      1. That demotion was a shock to my parents too. They’ve been home for 11 years but they still refer to themselves and missionaries and for 11 years have said they were “going back” so they can keep with the important crowd. They just now are actually working on going back… Good riddance.

    2. That being said, most North Americans have never carried their drinking water by hand or lived in a place with almost no medical help. There are some hardships that are not invented just for the sake of a good story. But being humans, we do tend to want to glorify ourselves instead of being humble and glorifying Christ. It’s the tendency of everybody whether involved in “full time ministry” or just a good old-fashioned day job.

      1. I have! We lived on a 2.5 acre lot like pioneers for a couple years in a trailer with no running water and no plumbing. We dug a hole for the “bathroom” and brought water in bottles up from where we “aquired” it until we dug a well. After the well, we had a hose that ran from the well to our porch where my daughter and I would wash each other’s hair in the afternoon when the hose water was warm from the sun. It was a difficult time, and the thing that kept me going was the knowledge that people in other countries would have considered us BLESSED to have a well and a trailer and a husband with the know-how to fix everything and make it all better. We have since built a house on the property. (a fire burned it to the ground, so we did the trailer thing again and rebuilt) I think there are ALOT of people in USA who live weird lifestyles. You just don’t see them on TV.

        1. I did say “most” not all. πŸ™‚

          I’m aware that there are folks here in the USA who live a more rugged existence. But it’s not the average anymore. I work with a lot of people from rural Georgia who grew up in a family that used an outhouse — but they all have indoor plumbing now. etc. etc.

          As for people with weird lifestyles who show up on TV…Swamp People? Anybody?

        2. I wasn’t trying to contradict what you were saying. I just saw an opportunity to tell one of my colorful stories and took it. (I am allowed to do that because I am old) I will continue as if you all are so lucky to get to read all about me and my stories.
          Oh, and My Strange Addiction, and certain episodes of Wife Swap spring to mind for additional tv shows that capture some strange lifestyles.

      2. It would depend on what country (or area in the states) you are called to. You can’t compare a missionary in Africa or some remote place like New Guinea to say, Canada. There are a lot of missionaries from the states here in Canada, in fact the pastor of the church we left in September is a missionary from the states. They have it pretty easy living here as opposed to some more remote place. I wouldn’t call it a hardship at all since I live here. :mrgreen:

        1. Careful with competing on who had it rougher.

          Take Costa Rica. You could be living in San Jose, population one million, or you could be living in the middle of the jungle with malaria, spiders and snakes galore.

          On the other hand, our church in San Jose was sponsoring missionaries in Brooklyn, NY. (More people in one single city block than in all the jungles of Costa Rica.)

  9. I thought they sang it exceptionally well. They seemed genuine and like people I would not mind knowing. Must not be fundy.

    On a completely different note, my daughter met Elisabeth Elliot (sp?) yesterday. She was so incredibly excited about that. (my daughter, not EE) Well, maybe EE, she didn’t really say.

    1. You spelled Elisabeth Elliot’s name right. I also am named Elisabeth with an “s” so I figure Elisabeth Elliot is one of the few Elisabeths with the name spelled right! πŸ˜†

  10. Darrell and other MK’s, I can’t imagine how your life was as a kid, sometimes as kids, we take our life as is, because we don’t know any better. I grew up in the same house, same town since I was 3, and felt like I didn’t fit in. I can’t imagine how it would be as the American out on the field, and when you came back to the states, it never felt like home. Add in IBF craziness that some experienced, it’s amazing you still seek Jesus. You have my awe and respect for the lives you’ve led.

  11. Yes, pretty conflicted here. While growing up in Albania was something that was both horrible and wonderful, my mom was abusive and my dad put ministry before family every time. One of the good things, was that I was pretty unplugged from the Fundy Matrix for so long, that my brainwashing wasn’t too current when I got to the States and it made it easier to leave, partly because I already felt like a foreigner.

  12. Missionaries have it rough? Boys in Afghanistan have lovely open latrines (you sit cheek to cheek with the Marine next to you and are sometimes tasked to burn the ****). You eat MRE’s for months on end while the locals try to figure out how to blow you into a million pieces. I was a Fundamental missionary (a long time ago) and I sympathize with the children of missionaries but many missionaries are messed up people who have failed at everything they have attempted State side. Many are sincere but culturally clueless. The romantic notion of serving in the great unknown is an illusion and will not sustain a truly effective ministry.

    1. And this is why it’s pointless to play the “who’s got it tougher than who” game. The boys in Afghanistan have it easy compared to the child soldiers in Uganda. And they are better off than the kids dying of dysentery in Haiti and on and on it goes.

      It’s a rather sad and pointless exercise. The worst pain in the world is the one that I am feeling right now. End of story.

  13. Darrell, thank you for sharing so much today. This post and all the comments today have been terrific. Am I the only person who teared up for Pastor’s Wife? I really hope that you can open up the relationship with the lady who at one time meant so much to you.

  14. There shouldn’t be any drying up of funds for genuine missionaries sent out from America. The money should come from the coffers of “full-time” (i.e. paid) American pastors. “They that preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (I Cor. 9:14) refers exclusively to people who uproot their lives and take the scriptures to far away lands. It has nothing to do with someone who lives in a city his whole life receiving money from the laity for his “ministry”.

  15. I think everyone has their preferred method of missionaries raising support, but I don’t see why one particular method has to be “wrong.”

    The traditional deputation-style method (I’m not sure what else to call it…) obviously works for some missionaries. The problem is when certain groups, like fundies, insist that it is the ONLY way to raise support, those who can’t “sell” their ministry effectively from the pulpit end up taking years or not going to the field at all. Other methods can be just as effective, and are more cut out for different personalities.

    I agree that churches “supporting” missionaries for $10-50 is ridiculous, made more so by the fact that they demand that the they be accountable to them for what their wives wear to bed in exchange for their $10. Then, when the the missionaries are back in the states, they have to dash around reporting to the 70-100 churches that support them for less money then it costs in gas to actually drive to the church. Instead of being able to take the time to rest and be with their family and home church, the missionaries end up going back to the field more tired then when they left.

    I know there have been both good and bad experiences within this kind of system. Thankfully, there are missionary families that haven’t been subjected to the extremes of the fundy missions system.

  16. The finest Christian I know is a college age MK. I’ve never met a purer spirit. But, the most vile person I’ve ever encountered is a missionary. Nothing, it seems, brings out one’s faith in God and their true spirit more than the Mission Field. It’s a mixed bag.

    One of the saddest things I have ever seen is a family of eight for all intents and purposes “livin’ in a van down by the river” for six years while they were on deputation. Every time I saw that dude, hanging tough at 32%, I wanted to scream, like Shug Avery in The Color Purple, “Maybe God is trying to tell you somethin’!” Those kids…spending their childhoods on the dirty bench seats of a ten-year-old Voyager made me want to weep every time I saw them. What is biblical about creating an entire group of forgotten homeless children in the guise of bringing the gospel to the 10-40 window?

  17. Also, for variety’s sake…
    My wife and I moved to Moscow and supported ourselves there for a couple of years. When we decided to move to a smaller town to help a Ukrainian missionary there, my home church offered to support us. We said $200 a month would be plenty. They disagreed. We didn’t argue. :mrgreen:

    That was in 2003. 8 years down the road, w/a family of 4 kids, we’ve still never done deputation and are only supported by our 2 home churches, family and friends. It’s a very good thing, even if we have only what we need for monthly expenses.

    If we were told we had to deputation, I think I would be looking into jobs here (Ukraine) instead. πŸ˜‰

    1. I always thought self-supporting missionaries made the most sense (at least when possible). But for some reason a lot of the churches I’ve gone to seem to think that a missionary should only get a job if they need it as an excuse to stay in the country.

      1. Nope, we said we like the kids and their singing.
        About the most negative comment anybody made was that the audio recording quality wasn’t very high.

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