A support raising family has some unique qualities.
There are definitely ways to tell that a missionary family is in a season of raising support for missions.
There are some small, funny, interesting ways to tell us apart from other families.
Some very real ways to tell a support raising missionary family.
In no order whatsoever…
1. Their facebook status always has some random city listed with it
2. Their suitcases are always packed
3. Driving 3 hours to church is a short ride
5. Their kids take turns sleeping on the floor in hotel rooms
6. They don’t know how to answer the question, “Where are you from?”
7. They have enough charge cords in their vehicle to charge 10 electronic devices
8. They have enough paperwork to keep them busy for days
9. iPhone apps are always recording or tracking something. Try it. Our marriage is better for it.
10. They can’t remember where they are going to be 2 days from now. But the one doing the scheduling knows where they’ll be every Sunday for the next year.
11. They have to check their calendar to see where they will be sleeping next week
12. They don’t always know where they will even eat their next meal
13. Their vehicles look like they are lived in… because they are
14. A phone call from a pastor makes their day
15. An email with support information is big news. Like dance and party news.
16. Selling belongings is exciting. and crazy hard.
17. Mileage numbers and gas prices are very important things
18. Their kids say things like, “You know… my new friend from that one church…” or “that friend from that country…”
19. People who have traveled are like family
20. They watch the weather in numerous cities, states and countries
21. They just have this look.
22. They haven’t seen their mail in weeks but don’t worry… someone is checking it. Thanks, Mom!
23. They think in percentages of budgets and time
24. They can’t remember what it is like to sleep in their own bed. Especially when that bed is in another country.
25. Every time they get in the car the kids ask, “How long is this trip?” and the parents can feel proud knowing their kids can go 4 hours without a bathroom stop.
26. An afternoon at home feels like a vacation
27. Their contacts and friends list grows every day
28. They are very thankful for family and friends
29. They realize how much they need the body of Christ
30. They want people to remember that, even with all these differences, they are still the same people
31. They also want people to take the time to get to know the new people they are becoming.
32. They wholeheartedly believe that every little bit helps in the support raising process
33. They see God at work every day and have the most amazing stories. You can see “A Day in the Life” here.
34. They can go from super happy to super discouraged to super excited to super frustrated pretty quickly. Feeling emotional is no joke in this transitional life.
35. They end the day truly loving their job
36. They appreciate every text, email, phone call and card… even if they can’t always respond
37. They think coffee/food/store gift cards are priceless but have learned to make their own great coffee for those times when coffee is unavailable.
38. They have really cool clothes in their suitcases.
39. They are way behind on new movies, new music, new TV shows… new things in general.
40. They are busy reading about other cultures, languages, religions and lifestyles.
41. Their families frequently ask, “Where are you now?”
42. They are prepared for anything. And always learning new skills.
43. They live by a schedule but must be ready to step out of the schedule at any moment.
44. They live by the rule “Flexibility is key.”
45. They make lists like this to process life!
46. They get dressed up for the first time in a few years to take a family picture for prayer cards and literally have no idea what to do with their dressy selves.
47. They laugh really hard at each of these videos. Seriously funny stuff to a support raising family.
48. They have to prepare their kids for furlough, which is not always an easy task. Uhm… they’ll have to wear shoes. and coats. for a whole year. Craziness. Because you know you are preparing for furlough when…
49. They have a to-do list of restaurants and experiences going all the time.
If you have never been close to a support raising family, I hope this helps give you a glimpse into our lives. A peek behind the prayer card.
If you have been there, I’m sure you can relate to many of the things on this list.
If you are thinking of becoming missionaries, I hope this helps get you ready for what is to come!
What would be on your support raising list?