I am a missionary, a proud missionary, BUT there are times when it sucks to say it.
Now I am sure there are some folks out there, perhaps even you, shocked by that statement. Maybe you are trying to reconcile the apparent contradiction between me stating that I am an unashamed, unembarrassed, proud missionary while also saying it sucks to admit it. Maybe you feel I am being like Peter (not so much for being the rock of the church, but more so for denying Christ). Or maybe you're just pissed I said sucks.
Now I can try and justify my statement using statistics and eloquent prose, but lets be honest, if you have read ANY of my writings you know I can't. Regardless, I feel it may be more enlightening to invite you in on a conversation I had last week.
I was talking to this guy I know, lets call him "Gringo". We met about a year ago and have seen each other a handful of times since. I can't say that I know him enough to call him my friend, but he is a nice guy and I enjoy talking to him. Anyway, we had been talking for a while when the conversation took an awkward turn.
Gringo: So, what do you do down here?
El Chupacabra: Well, I am actually a missionary.Gringo: WOW! You're a minister. You don't look like one.El Chupacabra: Thanks, but I'm not really a minister, I'm a missionary.Gringo: Thats some crazy shit. Oops, I'm sorry.El Chupacabra: Why?Gringo: You're a minister, I shouldn't swear.El Chupacabra: Dude, its ok. I have actually heard it before, I mean look at me.Gringo: Ok, well I'm having a little get together in a couple of weeks, maybe you can come. We are going to barbecue and drink a couple beers, oh shit, you don't drink, you're a minister.El Chupacabra: Um,,,,I'm a missionary, and well, I drink beer.Gringo: [silence] Ok, well, I guess I'll see ya around.
Its really just a matter of being able to relate. Sometimes, at least in my experience, the mere mention of the word "missionary" can destroy the conversation and hinder any possible chance sharing Christ. People have their preconceived notions of what a missionary is and what a missionary does. For that matter, the same holds true for the word "christian."
Could that be why Anne Rice chose to distance herself from the word?
So if you hear me telling someone that I work for a non-profit or an NGO (nongovernmental organization) maybe I am just trying to relate, maybe I am trying to salvage the conversation, or maybe, just maybe I am sharing Christ with them, on their terms.