We needed better pictures for our prayer cards and newsletters so we scheduled a halfway professional photographer to take them for us. You know, a photographer that is good enough to take nice pictures but not so good that you can’t afford them. We were lucky enough to know one of these photographers and at the slightest hint of my consent, my wife made a dash to line up the shoot. I was holding on to her ankles while kicking and yelling behind her. She made it halfway across the room despite my considerable drag on the carpet and so I resorted to garnering sympathy, whimpering like a puppy and looking up at her with pleading eyes. She was immune to my charm and made the call. It seems my charming effect has worn off considerably since our courtship.
I don’t like photo shoots. But, in my head I knew this was necessary and so I tucked my tail between my legs, manned up, and took a shot (or seemingly a thousand) for the family.
As much as I hate to admit it, good family photos are necessary while trying to raise support. People are more likely to support a family that looks all nice and put together than one where dad is gritting his teeth holding a screaming baby while mommy is wiping throw up off of her pajamas (which she is still wearing in the afternoon). Of course, maybe that would play well with the sympathy side of things. It sort of bugs me that we have to pretend to be perfect, super spiritual Christians who have it all figured out. I mean, that’s why we’re going on the mission field, right? We want to model Christianity to the heathen, right?
The fact is, we’re pretty normal and I don’t want to have to pretend on this blog that we’re super Christians. Don’t expect to see us quoting three chapters from Deuteronomy while casting out demons during our lunch break. We’re normal people who struggle with life. We make mistakes, we have our flaws. But God has been steadily leading us in this direction and we intend to keep our supporters up to date with the realities of our calling. I don’t want to paint some rosy, romantic picture of a perfect Christian family breezing their way through life, unless that’s actually what is happening in our lives (it hasn’t happened yet). We are called to live as an example to the lost and it’s humbling to be called to a public role in that. I realize we are now living in a fish bowl where people will be scrutinizing us. They may even be saying “If they can be missionaries, I could be too.” Yes! Exactly! God doesn’t call the qualified but does qualify those he calls. I believe we’re going through (and have been for the last two years) the qualification process. I’ll do my best to share our struggles, triumphs, and worries along the way while giving praise to the God who helps us through it all in hopes that it will inspire you to worship Him more, and maybe even inspire others to open their minds to the possibility that they, too, have been called to reach the lost and lonely on the outer edges of this planet (or maybe to serve as senders to those who are).
Now, stay tuned for some perfect pictures of our perfect family in perfect poses. We’ll get them any day now.