Busting some MYTHS about being a missionary in Africa’s bush
by Rachel Andersen, Kenya.
We need missionaries in Africa! We need people to take the Gospel and make disciples of the unreached, like the Gabbra people of Kenya. Often people are put-off by misconceptions about being a missionary. Here we bust 10 myths about being a bush missionary.
- We are all adventurous. After crossing a very muddy plain, a fellow missionary stated, “I am not a pioneer!” He wasn’t someone who enjoyed getting stuck in the mud, in a remote area with few resources. He served in the bush because the need was greatest in the bush, not because of a desire to go two tracking.
- We are all good at fixing stuff. A few years ago a man came to work in the bush who didn’t carry any tools in his car. He stated that he could not work on the car, that he didn’t have a clue how to turn a wrench spanner), so he drove around without tools. When his car predictably broke down, he would sit by the car and pray. He never ended up stuck anywhere for very long. Another vehicle always came along with the right person with the right tools.
- We all love camping. I have heard fellow missionaries say, “Why would I want to go relax by camping in the bush. I live in the bush.”
- It doesn’t bug us when things break. When things break it is disheartening, frustrating, and demoralizing. Whether we know how to fix it or not. Seriously, what kind of saints do you think we are.
- We are super spiritual. It doesn’t take super spirituality to Biblically submit to God and say I will go where you want me to go.
- We don’t need comforts like other people. Missionaries living in the bush love comforts. A cozy chair, good coffee, quality chocolate, or decent internet. All of us have a comfort we enjoy. We often horde our comforts and ration them out in order to keep our sanity.
- We are all laid back. Bush missionaries are not usually laid back at all. They are strong willed, submitted to God people, who have dug in, anchoring themselves to God’s grace, and chosen to keep on keeping on. We have strong opinions and ideals, based on the Bible and our experiences.
- We are all farmers or people who can do anything and take on anything: Who are those people? They are not living in the bush with us. No one can do everything!
- We don’t freak out. Crying is a daily, weekly, or monthly thing for most bush missionaries. Many bush missionaries live with headaches, stomach ulcers, or frequent counseling sessions.
- We are extra talented. Most of us have singular talents. Business people, teachers, nurses, midwives, doctors, mechanics, pastors, athletes, artists, builders, and administrators, make up some of the people living in the bush. Most bush missionaries have marginal talents but serve an exceptional God who uses inabilities to show His ability.