I think there is a misconception about what its like to work as a missionary. Maybe you wonder what in tarnation we actually do?
Do we go door to door with our Bible in hand like Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Do we snuggle little orphaned children?
Are we sitting in prayer circles?
(I’m chuckling to myself as I type this)
The beginning of our third year here looks vastly different than our first 2. Some things are the same. But it doesn’t look like what I pictured as missionary life when I was a child, dreaming of this. So in case you are curious too, here is a snapshot of two days.
6 am- Alex gets up and leaves with Giovanni to drive to church and set up and practice with the band. This means loading our t.v. in the car to act as one of the screens for the song lyrics. And drinking lots of coffee. (Mari and kids remain asleep!)
7ish am- Mari and kids get up, take care of siberian huskies, search for church clothes and shoes like every other church going family…. because I never plan ahead the night before. They aren’t babies anymore, I’m not in charge of their clothes.
7:30 am- Susanna messages to make sure I am coming to pick up her and baby Esteban, and sometimes another friend too
8:45 am- we run out the door, rushing obviously
9:30 am- church
1 pm- usually grocery shopping. Its really exciting and exotic right?
3 pm- hopefully a nap, usually lots of email returning, game playing, movies holed up in our room out of the heat.
8 pm- get kids in bed and ready for school like every other parent in the world
4:50 am: My saint of a husband gets up, makes the coffee, makes the lunches, gets the kids up and usually leaves without waking me up! Which I feel zero guilt about, because I did it for 11 years.
7:30 am- we go over our day, goals, meetings, emails, whatever. On any given day this means emails about rice shipments, donors who want to give beds, missions teams, Navy squads coming to volunteer, World Race teams, dental teams…..
9 am- go down to the church and meet with Ivo and Giovanni
9:30 am- first person stops by to say hi
10 am- carpentry project going on, Alex leaves meeting to go assist
11 am- Alex usually is fixing a door, a wall, computers, or having a conference call;
Mari is finding a new renter and arranging with all parties involved to rent a house from 4000 miles away.
12 pm- quick lunch, sometimes the chicken stand by the prison which sells a lunch plate for $2 or $3 depending
12:30 pm- Mari might be working on CDI admin, trying to find new child sponsors, checking the monthly numbers or studying. I am taking some classes to learn more about the complicated politics involved in developing nations and human rights.
1:30 pm- We start the drive back up the mountain to get the kids from school in San Salvador. Usually buying a coconut on the way because it is bloody hot, man!
2:30 pm- gather our brood plus Ivo’s daughter Keyla. Almost always stopping for a quick dinner item at the grocery store
3 pm- More emailing, brainstorming, planning, homework with kids, still hot in case you were curious.
6 pm- dinner, which by the way is about 2 hours earlier than everyone else in El Salvador eats dinner. But we stay on U.S. time schedule with our kids in regards to meals and bedtime!
8:30 pm- field about a thousand questions from Layla who wants to essentially know the history of the world every night at bedtime. In detail.
9 pm- Alex passes out whether Layla is still asking questions or not. Mari is usually studying again, writing a paper or taking a test.
No day is exactly the same. There is orphan snuggling. There is encouraging of others. Sometimes we meet an El Salvador Congress member. Sometimes we have dinner with United Nations employees. Sometimes we build on Esperanza.
And sometimes Alex just scrapes rat poo off of roofs. We just never know what the day will hold! You see, our days aren’t all that unusual….. except when a giant rhino beetle turns up in your shoe…….