To elaborate on my previous post and to also give those poor missionaries the benefit of the doubt, I want to bring out a point that I am super glad about...the world has become much smaller. Used to, when people announced that God had called them to be a foreign missionary, it meant that they would never again see their family. To even receive a letter or package from them would involve a small miracle of the postal service and even then they would have to wait weeks/months to get it.
These days, not that it's not a sacrifice, but the measures are much less drastic than they used to be and for that I am very grateful. Right now, I can talk to our friends in Brazil and China every day for free as long as I have Skype, headphones, and a microphone...a free "phone call" to people on the other side of the world. Incredible. Who would've even thought that 20 or even 10 years ago? Then there are the web cams so that you can see the people you are talking to too. If you don't have all that technology, there is at least just regular old email and instant messaging. Most of the time, even out in the bush these days (although not always that dependable) they have internet access at some level.
Missionaries used to be cut off from the rest of the world...not the case anymore. One of the reasons is because of this little thing that many people use, including my husband...an airplane! Trips that used to take days and even weeks can now be made in minutes. Amazing. People can go in and out of remote and isolated areas with relative ease now. Travel is easy and relatively inexpensive too. No more crossing oceans in big rocking boats, getting sea-sick and being stuck on a boat forever. Nope, that is much easier now too.
So, seriously, missionaries really have little excuse for being out of touch and unrelate-able these days. Another side note...even with the appearance of the missionaries I talked about in my last post, if they had had an attractive personality that probably would've helped. In truth, missionaries have sometimes gotten the reputation of being a little socially inept...and from what I saw that report was true. But, in recent years that has been proven false to me, thank goodness. To date, most of the missionaries I've come into contact with are just super dang cool...and so much fun.
Needless to say, it's a great day and age to be on the mission field. Sure there are still challenges (I'm sure you will hear me talking about them in future posts), but relatively speaking, compared to what the challenges used to be...well, let's just say that I'm glad to be in this day and age.