This is Elisabeth Elliot. She is the ultimate Tribal Wife. I have read almost every book she has ever written. You should too. I read a lot of missionary stories. I have read so many, that it is getting really hard to find ones that I haven't read yet, which makes me very sad. If you have any recommendations, please tell me! Anyway, I really like all the missionaries books I have read. I cannot think of one that I just didn't care for. But, there are some that I do like more than others. The real ones. It is easy to tell when someone is being totally transparent and honest, and when they are telling you only what you want to hear. I am not saying that the missionaries are lying in the books, they are just only sharing the "good" or what the majority of average Christians consider "good". You see most missionaries live on support from family and friends (as we do) and there is a certain pressure that comes with that, to appear like nothing ever goes wrong and you are always happy and singing hymns and baptizing 300 people a day. Again, I still like those stories, but I really love the ones that include the guts and the glory. Those who let it all hang out, so to speak. I think it is because I am following in their footsteps and want to know everything I possibly can about this life I am called to- the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, the tough and the easy, the the funny and the tragic, in short...everything.
I have recently learned that a few people read this blog. Some very unexpected people read this blog, and when I heard it, I got a little embarrassed. You see, I write this thing like no one is reading it, because I really don't think anyone reads it, so I say what I want to say...what I am feeling at the time...what I want to remember about this time in my life. I let it all hang out, so to speak (well, not ALL of it, don't worry). The reason I became embarrassed is because most people think missionaries are supposed to be these super Christians. The ultimate followers of God. The Varsity team. I have learned that is the image in most people's minds. That was the image in my mind growing up reading all those stories. That is ok, I guess, I am sure that a lot of missionaries fit that description, but I don't. I am just your average Christian. I know that a lot of people think that packing up and taking your family to live in the jungle is not "average" but it is not true. I am average. You see, it doesn't take "special" people to be missionaries (although, we could stop raising support right now, if I had a dollar for every person who literally said, "it takes a special person..." to us). I am not special. I am average. I don't have any talents. I have never be really good at anything. Just average. But, God loves average. He loves to use people who aren't special. Because He gets the glory with average.
What does that mean exactly? It means I am just a person who has lived my life for myself and given it over to Jesus, and of the two I realized that there is no better way to live than completely surrendered to Christ. I have given Him my life and have not been disappointed by what He has done with it. I heard David Nasser preach a sermon once called "God wants to ruin your life". Well, He totally ruined mine and made it WAY better than I could have ever made it myself. Simply put, I gave up my plans and dreams and trusted God for His plans and dreams for me, and have never looked back. He is so faithful to His Word that His plans are to "prosper you and to give you a hope and a future." It means I am excited for this life He has chosen for me, because I know He is good, and I could never plan anything better for myself.
What it doesn't mean is that I am rich and healthy and never have problems. It doesn't mean that I will always love every part of being a missionary. It doesn't mean that I will always like the people I am ministering to. It doesn't mean that I will never be tempted to quit and come home.
I say all that to say this: This blog is real. It will always be real. That is scary for me sometimes because in all honesty, it scares me that our supporters will read it and not want to support us anymore, or that people who don't support us never will because of some dumb thing I said. But the goal I have in it is that some very average mom, wife, or young girl will read it and say, "if she can me a missionary, than I can be a missionary" and for people to know how to pray for me and my family. How to really pray for me and my family. But the ultimate goal is so that whatever happens with this ministry of Tribal Church Planting and Bible Translation- God will get the glory. So here is my family as we really are. Just an average family. If we can do this, any family can do this.
**I realize that is not entirely accurate to tell you this is our family as we "really" are when one child is dressed as a mermaid and the other is dressed as Snow White, but you get the point, right?**