I think I got through to her, but to be sure I texted her the website. I see this often, people think of soup kitchens and door to door sharing as local missions. Overseas missions are people who travel and live in-country doing bible translation, church planting, or medical missions. We don't fit into any of those categories so confusion abounds. When I explained we raise up "locals" to go locally, She thought we flew the students here to train them and then sent them back. Why is it we have plenty of Indian trained doctors working in the USA. Trained in India!, but we immediately jump to the thought "Missionaries have to be trained in the USA?" When I then elaborated we have in-country bible colleges I saw her think oh "a bible college" when I elaborated on the scope of the ministry, adding in Bridge of Hope schools, well digging, women's literacy, and radio. She looked at me and said something along the lines of "You must be much larger than I had thought. I've never heard of your organization." Ding, Ding, Ding we have a winner!
Sadly people don't seem to get it, we are a polygon shaped peg and all they know is round and square pegs. We have a large multifaceted organization, 100% of donations for the field, go to the field. Home team staff raise their own support read that as: live on donated money. We live in the states (bombarded by advertising, and the message Keep up with the Jones's,) choosing to live simply and serving the Lord here instead of over there... Which makes Grandparents happier because they can actually hug their grand kids once in a while, instead of just using Facetime to see them. I sometimes wonder, do they stop and think where: Do all the videos come from? The printing of the books? The processing of the gifts? Do they picture just a small staff to handle the scope of what the Lord has entrusted to us?
On that note I'd like to share a video Desperation for Clean Water This is one of the things I "get" to do here at the ministry. I really love using my voice in this way. How better to use our tongues than to share stories of how we can help others.
We are often told "Living as a missionary in the states is one of the hardest things to do." It is true. The pull of family, churches and friends all wondering why you choose to live a simple life, when life could be so much easier if you quit and got a "real job." Questions like "Why aren't you being a responsible man/woman/parent and providing better for your self/family?" often get heard. The answer is; the call to be obedient to God is greater. I think that is why they call it "called to be a missionary" Tho I have not yet learned to always enjoy living by faith I have been continually amazed at the Lords faithfulness.