Stepchild over at Missions Misunderstood has been doing an interesting series on "missionaries that shouldn't be on the field." His series got me to thinking about some of the perks that come with the territory. Many of our supporters aren't aware of the many personal privileges we missionaries enjoy that aren't available to just any one.
-Getting our own individual glass to drink out of at social occasions and not having to share your drink with someone else.
-Not only having running water in our house, but HOT water too!
-Having a CD burner on our home computer instead of relying on 3.25" floppies.
-Having a computer that runs on Windows 98 instead of one that still uses DOS programs. (if you've never heard of DOS, come visit us--I'll introduce you)
-Being given the seat right in front of the only floor fan in a closed room where 50 people are gathered together in 102 degree heat. (I'd gladly pay good money if we weren't already blessed with this perk.)
-Being asked to sing, preach, teach, baptize, speak, dedicate babies, marry, or give the devotional at every known church event that takes place. (If you're a missionary, you know what I mean by this one.)
-Being invited to 200 birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings per month because they know at least the missionary will bring a nice gift.
-Having a phone that actually works (most of the time.)
-Always the one invited to go places. (They know the missionary has a car and will provide the transportation for the other 15 people also wanting to go.)
-Double portions of rice, chicken and plantains at any social occasion. (They reason we must eat twice as much to be as big as we are!)
-Always being complimented on how fat we are getting, or how much weight we have gained over the past month. (It truly is a cultural compliment meaning we are "well fed", "healthy" and can afford to eat like we do.)
-The honor of receiving 3-4 calls a week from people asking for help in translating an English recipe, a letter, their kid's homework, a legal document, etc. (How many times have I heard, "oh, it will just take a minute of your time...")
-For only $2 being able to buy on the corner any software program we might ever need or desire, complete with code-cracking to make it work. (Same goes for any DVD movie on the market!)
-Being stared at every time we set foot outside the house like we were some movie star with no greater claim to fame than being a foreigner.
-Being the first person people think of when they are in an economic crisis and need a loan.
-Oh yes, having a maid. (How do people live without one?)
-Fruit vendors, knife sharpeners, plumbers, sewer cleaners, street sweepers, bottle collectors, repairmen, newspaper collectors, beggars, Jehovah Witnesses, gardeners, electricians, professional con artists, salesmen, ringing your door bell 100 times a day to see if you need their services or can give them anything. (While sometimes annoying--especially during afternoon siesta--it is generally a nice perk when you actually do need them!)
-Someone to do all your yardwork for less than your kids allowance.
-Garbage picked up daily seven days/week, 365 days/year. That is probably my favorite missionary perk, one I really appreciate getting back to after every Stateside furlough. Our last furlough (no joke) NOT ONCE was our garbage picked up due to our never figuring out how to do it right. I was totally overwhelmed by the "garbage manual" explaining all the rules and regulations about what kinds of trash will be picked up, on what days, in what type of containers, etc.
-Being able to go to the Pharmacy and buy whatever medications you need without a prescription. (Just go down to the corner drugstore 24/7 and get what you need--none of that $90 doctor fee to tell you what you already know!)
Hmmm. And Stepchild wonders what missionaries do with all their time...I guess we're busy managing all the perks that go along with being a missionary!
Care to add any other perks you enjoy overseas? Just add them to the comments section!