Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Thoughts on "Missionary" Blogging

This whole blog thing is very interesting.

Last November I had no idea what a blog was, nor did I care. I met up with a friend from my past. She is all 'hopped up' on deep thoughts and academia and debating issues. She is one of those PhD types - I read her blog - but sometimes I get to the end of an entry going, "HUH???"

She said- “You should start a blog.”

Our blog began with two readers, my mom and my dad. After a few weeks there were ten or twelve readers but they all had common genetics.

Now there is this thing that has happened where more people we don’t know too well read the blog, far outnumbering our relatives and friends. That is super cool but also - a whole different deal. Our family knows us, so they know when a post is dripping with sarcasm, they know when I am just a little down vs. when I am profoundly sad and really need them to call me and check in.

We have learned that a handful of missionaries to Haiti, both past and present are reading the blog. We kind of wish they wouldn’t. That puts imagined pressure on to have the “right” opinion on the things we see or experience here.

So - I am tossing up another post to clear my conscience and clarify our position.

Here is the thing … sometimes in our journey with the Lord we are at mountain top places, sometimes we are in deep valleys. Most of the time we feel God’s perfect peace and provision. But, I am just a normal flake like everyone else, so sometimes I have days and even multiple days where something that happens leaves me saying “WHERE ARE YOU GOD????”

I would rather have a blog where I am able to say I am having a day of struggle and of little faith than to lie and pretend to have it all figured out all the time.

I don’t.

Something about people who are all wrapped up nice, and act like they don't struggle, just seems icky to me. It's not true anyway, they must be faking it.

There are tons of missionaries here that are way smarter and a bunch more faithful than us. They might totally disagree with some of our thoughts on Haiti and her people. For example, my thoughts on pride and honesty problems here might offend some, conversely they might seem understated to others. Someone with ten years of missionary service will see things differently than I do as a rookie. And that's okay.

These are just one (or four depending on who is blogging) person’s thoughts, just our flawed (or unflawed) opinions. We’ve never claimed to be Haiti experts, God experts, or experts on anything at all. Most of the devotional type posts that end up on the blog are articles/thoughts that spoke to us, not something we are preaching just to you, the readers.

When God speaks to us it is not in some loud audible voice, nor is it written in clear terms in letters or on billboards ---- it is always quietly and it is most often in our broken, still, uncertain, and waiting times.

Before we felt called here we had these qualifications:
1. We were breathing.
2. We love the Lord and want to know Him better.
3. We care a lot about Haiti - and want to help.
4. We are willing to take risks.

That is it, the full exhaustive list. We are not theologians, preachers, high level management, or executives. We never went to missionary training school. God seemed to be saying “Go” in spite of our absence of specialized training. He seems to be equipping us to face each new, challenging and odd thing that comes our way.

We are happy the blog is gaining readers and popularity but we need you to know we have no clue what we are doing. We just wake up every morning and wing it. God does the work. We continually stand back in amazement at what He is doing with a bunch of sarcastic fools from Minnesota.

Happy to be here experiencing it all,

tara & troy

PHOTO CREDIT- Scott Tanner 2006