returning missionary

When Ethan Allen Freaks You Out

What global servants know, but can struggle to articulate is how hard it is to just be like everybody else: To no longer be introduced as “this amazing person who does this incredible work in __________________.”

Now, I’m 100% sure nobody seeks those accolades, that’s not why you served. In fact, most missionaries I know tire of the pedestal, but over time the nice things people say about your courage and selflessness become part of the narrative.

Until the day you find yourself furniture shopping for a house you bought in the suburbs of Phoenix and wondering what the heck that means for your identity.

How to Answer: How was your trip?

The point is never to make people feel bad or stupid, but nor should you tuck it in and pretend your experience is irrelevant. How many of you sat in church as a kid and listened with rapture at some missionary talking about their work.

Some of you are on the field because of that. Your words matter. So craft them.