Ten Questions Missionaries Love To Answer

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

A hospital worker apologized to us today after asking us about how we ended up living in Central Asia. “I’m sorry, maybe you get tired of telling your story,” she said. We eagerly assured her that no, we are not tired at all of sharing how God led us to live in our unexpected corner of the world. The fact is that most missionaries are actually surprised by how few questions they get asked when they return to their home countries. Or, after years of living overseas, full of misadventures and crises, the only question that comes is, “So, how was your trip?”

“Um…it was… good?”

If you get the chance to spend time with missionaries who are back from the field, here is a list of questions most would be delighted to answer. Because so few ask questions like these, when someone does ask them it does our souls good, and we are encouraged as we speak of and remember God’s faithfulness.

  1. What were some of the mighty things you saw God do in your time overseas?
  2. What were some of the harder things that you faced?
  3. How have your kids been doing growing up as third-culture kids?
  4. How have you changed since you went overseas?
  5. Tell me about the things you love about your focus people and culture.
  6. How have you grown in your understanding of the gospel as you have served cross-culturally?
  7. How did God call you to go overseas in the first place?
  8. What are things you wish you could say to believers in your home country?
  9. Do you have any funny stories that happened while on the mission field? Epic language mistakes?
  10. What are the things your family most desperately needs prayer for?

Missionaries are storytellers at heart. But we’re often not sure if friends and family really want to hear our stories of breakthrough, tragedy, miracles, misadventures, and those times when we made complete fools out of ourselves. By asking these and similar questions, you let us know that you really do want to hear about our lives. And just as we are encouraged by sharing these things, we hope that our stories will also encourage you.

4 thoughts on “Ten Questions Missionaries Love To Answer

  1. I’m not a missionary, but I lived in Europe for nearly 3 years. It still bothers me that family and friends asked so few questions about our host country or daily life. We were constantly encouraged to make the difficult trip home for a visit, but didn’t have a single American visitor ourselves. Folks, take an interest in your missionaries; and show them your love and support are real. They need this just as much as they need your financial support.

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    1. Edward, thanks for sharing from your experience. It makes sense that this dynamic would be there for other expats returning from overseas as well, and probably military folks also. Thoughtful questions and a listening ear can go a long way! And some do a great job at this, but my hunch is that many aren’t sure what kinds of questions are helpful.

      A.W.

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