Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Questions about a missionary's life

Our good friend Jonette McMasters leads the BGMC (Boys and Girls Missionary Crusade) group at Akron-Springfield A/G. She's teaching the kids to have a heart for missions. We are grateful for Jonette's friendship, support and the legacy she's building in the kids. (Thanks Jonette!) In order to educate them about missions, the kids wrote some questions to Lena. Here are a couple of her answers:

What is Costa Rica like?

Costa Rica is a really lovely place to learn Spanish. We live in San Jose, which is about halfway up the mountains, and it is almost always in the 60s y 70s. We can drive 2-5 hours to the beach once in a while, but most of the time we stay here and do our homework! We live in the city, so we don’t get to see all the cool animals who live in the jungle much, but that is pretty normal for a Costa Rican, because they don’t normally have the money to travel and see their beautiful country the way we do! Most Costa Rican people don’t earn as much in a week as a poor American does in a month, and cars are way more expensive here. We take taxis everywhere, and they mostly don’t have seat belts, so that was a big thing to get used to—not being able to put my kids in car seats. I pray a lot more now when we go somewhere as a family!

They eat a LOT of rice and black beans here, and I have been perfecting my version of it. Why? It is really cheap to eat rice and beans—and many Costa Ricans eat it for every meal and only get meat once or twice a month. And Costa Rica is one of the richest Latin American countries.

Would we rather be missionaries or billionaires?

Missionaries! I think it is more fun.

What made us want to be missionaries?

When God calls someone to be a missionary, He lets them know! He speaks to your heart and is very patient. Every person’s story is different, but we felt the call in our hearts first, and had it confirmed many, many times, in ways that were little miracles in our lives. It was a very exciting time. God wanting us to be missionaries made us want to be missionaries.

Do missionaries get killed telling people about the Lord?

This is definitely something that everyone who decides to become a missionary has to think about. It is true that people sometimes give their lives for the gospel, but more of them die because of difficult or unsafe conditions in the places they live. The biggest risk for us in Peru will be the traffic. There are very many car accidents in Peru, and we will have to be very careful. The air is really dirty there, too, because the air isn’t able to go over the mountains, and the pollution stays in the city. Sometimes we will go to the jungle, and that will have other risks, but most of our time will be in the city. We will need your prayers for our protection from thieves, too, as this is another real danger.

(The picture at the top is of our family in a traditional Costa Rican cart. The picture at the bottom is one I took on a city street in Lima. You can see how compromised the air quality is. Perhaps even more dangerous, though, is the taxi. It's a 3-wheeled motorcycle with a tent on the back!)

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