Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hall of Shame

Now that we have partially explored the idea of a "Missionary Hall of Fame," let’s very carefully and humbly consider the opposite. Without naming names or being too specific, let’s simply describe those we would mentally nominate for the "Missionary Hall of Shame."

Sounds terrible, doesn’t it? This one is tricky, because of course we should all look at our own shortcomings first. For me with my weird grasp of time and inability to remain entirely in the present (remember the post on time travel?), I not only face my current sins, (thankfully my past sins are washed away!), but also my potential sins in the future. Hopefully y’all will also find it fun and even beneficial to consider the missionary you don’t want to become.

I’ll start us off by nominating one I must be oh-so-careful not to resemble. Let’s call her Miss You-Think-You-Have-It-Bad. Rather than commiserating with my suffering and offering a word of wise counsel from Scripture or from her own experience, she would respond with a predictable one-upper. “You think you have it bad?! Well let me tell you how it was when we real missionaries were starting out forty years ago….” Blah, blah, blah.

Now that I have returned to Mexico, celebrating the beginning of our 25th year of being overseas, I want to follow Christ and become more like Him so that those following me will have a good example. I seriously don’t want to become a joke like Miss You-Think-You-Have-It-Bad or worse – like Penelope on the hilarious Saturday Night Live skit I saw this week on Facebook.

IRL* Strongly preferring to become like the Hall of Famers I admire, and examining my heart for bad habits that might land me in the Hall of Shame.


  1. I know of a couple serving long term who when left for a couple months of home ministry let a short term couple use their house. On their return they discovered that none of their clothes remained in their bedroom??

    What happened? Well in talking with their staff they discovered that, without asking, the short term visitors gave away all their clothes!

    Thankfully national staff realizing what happened were able to retrieve some of the clothes. Years later--the second couple never has brought it up, said sorry or spoken to the first couple again.

    Sad when we don't treat others like we would like to be treated.


  2. A senior missionary said, "Just think of what you could be doing if you weren't stuck in here" to a junior missionary (from the same team) who was taking care of her sick 1 y.o. in hospital.

  3. Both are worthy nominations. Oh my, the thoughtless things we say and do when our flesh rules and the gospel is hidden from our lives. Makes me cringe to consider when I might have been the offender of something equally godless.

  4. Ohh, I am trying so hard to be quiet on this one! :)

    But in the hall of comical shame, there was the new missionary who insisted on getting his water from the spring (where we all drank from)and then boiling it, AND then filtering it, AND THEN putting drops in it.

    He left after one month convinced he was getting sick from "breathing germs". That was about the only place he could have met one!

    But the real hall of shame is reserved not for the comical newbies, but for the veterans who hurt others by their insensitive comments or their choices to value people's uses over their needs. For leaders who use God's sheep for cart horses and care not for their needs.

  5. I never want to be too hard on the newbies, comical though they may be. But us old-timers, shame on us. And leaders? Please don't treat us like pawns in a chess game. Aack! We'll put you on that wall in a hurry if you do.


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