Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Things not talked about
A woman, Bengali but married to a Dutch missionary, popped into my apartment this evening so we could sweat together in the humidity, sip iced tea, and talk about what many missionaries don’t talk about.
Earlier today an American missionary man who’s worked in Bangladesh most of his life and grew up here ambushed me to rant about the same subject.
Last night I had dinner with an American doctor and a New Zealander and I blurted out that I was overwhelmed with this.
It is such a relief to talk about a taboo subject that rarely is discussed among missionaries, yet really should be.
Both the missionaries I talked to struggle with the same issues I do. But, here’s the important bit, I’d never have guessed it if they hadn’t come out and told me.
A beggar covered from head to toe in boils, chanting and wailing on a filthy street.
Children with distended tummies running half naked between racing buses and cars.
Disease, garbage, poverty.
We pour out hearts into working in this country, working to help these people and the issues that are very much a part of their lives. I’m exhausted from laboring in this country for two years and I’m only 24. These missionaries are twice my age and are still struggling with how sometimes it’s just too, too much. All of it-all the problems, all the hurt- it’s too much.
We need to talk about it, to express our feelings to each other and to God, as that’s the first step to letting God handle the multitude of sorrow we feel when we look at the country around us.