Whenever I tell someone I'm a missionary, I'm fairly sure they're immediately envisioning those pot-bellied, wide-eyed kids on the TV commercials. The ones with outstretched hands and raggedy clothes who steal your heart with a glance. They're probably thinking of what I'm missing out on, all the comforts of home and family and such.
I hate to disappoint those people, but this just happens to be where I spent my day. (Click to see it bigger.) I relaxed on a blue-cushioned chair next to the pool. I sipped on ice-cold Coke (the kind from the glass bottle, which tastes better than anything else in the world) and chatted with one of my best friends from Liberia who has finally come back to the ship to work alongside me again after a long outreach apart in Benin. When our rumbling stomachs told us it was time for dinner, we packed up and headed home along the sandy path next to the road. The air was quickly losing the day's heat, and a cool breeze brushed against our faces while we stared around us at the palm trees and flowers and children waving a shy hello.
It's not always like this, but sometimes this is actually what it looks like to suffer for Jesus. And because all this also comes as the side order to a healthy dose of those little brown babies who need to be loved on, I'm not sure I ever want to stop all this suffering.