Wednesday, May 25

Missionary Perks

Many of our supporters back in the United States feel sorry for missionaries living overseas and all we have given up to "suffer for Jesus." But the truth is, we are better off than most think. Here is a sampling of just a few of the many perks we enjoy as missionaries:

-Being given the seat right in front of the only floor fan in a closed room where 30 perspiring people are crammed together in equatorial heat and humidity. (If you don't think this is an honor and privilege, just try sitting somewhere else in the room and not passing out!)

-Being asked to sing, preach, teach, baptize, speak, dedicate babies, marry, or give the devotional at any church gathering that takes place. (If you're a missionary, you know what I am talking about. Not even Billy Graham gets asked to do all that we are honored to do!)

-Being invited to everyone's birthday party, anniversary, or wedding. (It is expected the missionary will bring a nice gift.)

-Having a phone that actually works (most of the time.)

-Having a mobile phone with a balance. (That way everyone who needs to make a call can borrow ours and we save them from having to use their own balance. Call it our "phone ministry!")

-Always the one invited to go places. (The missionary has a car and can be counted on to provide 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!)

-A nice siesta every day after lunch. (How do people in the States manage to go all day long without a nap?)

-Fruit vendors, knife sharpeners, plumbers, sewer cleaners, professional con artists, street sweepers, bottle collectors, repairmen, newspaper collectors, beggars, Jehovah Witnesses, gardeners, electricians, and salesmen, ringing your door bell 10 times a day to see if you need their services or can give them anything.(While sometimes annoying--especially during afternoon siesta--it generally is a nice perk when you actually do need their services!)

-Always being complimented on how fat we are getting, or how much weight we have gained over the past month. (The intent is good, but annoying since these "thoughtful" words usually come right after we have killed ourselves working out at the gym and currently on a diet.)

-The honor of receiving calls every week from people asking for help in translating an English letter, recipe, their kid's homework, legal documents, etc. (How many times have I heard, "oh, it will just take a minute, you don't mind do you?")

-Being stared at every time we set foot outside the house like we were some movie star (especially since our only actual claim to fame is being from Texas.)

-Being the first person people think of when they are in an economic crisis and need a loan.

-Someone to do all your yard work for less than your kids allowance.

And finally, my favorite perk...

-Garbage picked up seven days/week, 365 days/year without anyone questioning what it is you are throwing away. This is probably my favorite missionary perk, and the one I most appreciate getting back to after every Stateside furlough. (One furlough, seriously--NOT ONCE was our garbage picked up by the trash collectors due to our never figuring out how to do it right. I was totally overwhelmed by "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.)

And people wonder what missionaries do with all their time. Well, as you can see, managing all our perks can be pretty time consuming!

Care to add some of the perks that come with your career-job-ministry? Just add them to the comments section!


Anonymous said...

Other perks:

Freshest food in the world. I've bought pork off of pigs dead less than a day.

Loaning your tools and materials to the professionals who come to fix your house.

As for the 10+ times people hit the buzzer outside, all I can say is that there are blessings to hearing loss. I never hear them.

GuyMuse said...


I "sospecho" you are a missionary too! :)

Jeremy said...

Yeah, Anon is me, Jeremy. Could not figure out how to put my name on my comment. I think I got it this time.

bailey ✭ said...

Funny Guy! Sounds like Ecuador and Benin are much alike!

Dustan and Becka said...

I was reading your blog post yesterday and hollered to my husband, "Hey, Guy takes a siesta!" Also, being in Ecuador I was a bit jealous. Then I remembered why Guayaquil takes a siesta.
It's cold here in Loja. No need to hide from the sun, and trust me, I don't want to trade places, but I am a tiny bit jealous of the perfect opportunity for a siesta.

Your list was great, but I have to add, having automatic friends because I speak a foreign language is also a perk for me. It seems I never meet a stranger because every school child, shop keeper, and even taxi drivers want to practice their English with me. It is one of my favorite perks!

And I must agree with Jeremy about the fresh food. How can I complain about the lack of a dishwater when I can trade the best tasting pineapples, avocados, and bananas for it?

GuyMuse said...


There are regions of Ecuador that are very much like Benin.

Dustan and Becka,

I've heard that taking a siesta everyday adds years to one's life. One of the things I do not like about going Stateside is that I feel guilty about taking a siesta up there since people don't do that kind of thing! And, Amen, to what you and Jeremy mention about the abundance of a huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday.

Anonymous said...

DOUBLE serving of plantines? WOW!! LOVE THEM!! Looking forward to that when I get in country!! :)

GuyMuse said...


We love them too, especially patacones, which are double-fried green plantains sprinkled with salt!

MarcelaV.O said...

Love to read what you´ve written about living in my lovely country, well actually ours. Definitely Ecuador is still one of the best places to live and. if you´ve lived by the sea, life will just be amazing. I can´t compare my days driving to job enjoying the sea breeze and seeing the waves so near me. I thank god for having us in this place (Salinas). Visit us at our church.

GuyMuse said...


Thanks for the invitation. Salinas is one of our favorite places to visit in Ecuador. Saludos a la Hna. Aurea!

Aussie John said...


I suspected it, but now I know I missed the fork in the road:)

BParsons said...

I was identifying with you on everything except the siesta. That was the time that everyone was sure I would be home in Manta, and they came by during siesta time. I never really got to do siestas. In fact, I look back and often wonder when I did sleep, since church often went past midnight during the week, and people were knocking at my gate at 7.

But the other things were "spot on" for me. It brought back memories.

And the one I would add from Manta is the best fish I have ever had in my life. I just can't enjoy stateside trout or catfish now. I've had fresh corvina at a sidewalk cafe in Manta and will get nothing better until I get to heaven.

GuyMuse said...


LOL! I can sure identify with the siesta thing and you are so right about the good fresh corvina, dorado, and in the past few years tilapia has become big. We had some yesterday for lunch. Come down for a visit sometime and we'll make sure you get your fill!