Column: Being a missionary is never boring

Mya Hudgins, Contributing Writer

Traveling the world is always fun, but when you travel to foreign countries completely by yourself, adventures await.

A couple of summers ago, I had the opportunity to live in the Dominican Republic with a family for a month.

The life of a missionary can always be entertaining to say the least. The family I was staying with planted a church in their neighborhood, and they wanted me to lead a Vacation Bible School every day for a week.

Of course, being a person who loves kids, I was totally on board with it.

The only catch was I had to bring all the supplies from the states.

As I began packing, I realized my clothes and supplies were going to weigh over my 50 pound limit.

Trying to problem solve, I decided I would check my big suitcase full of supplies and pack all my clothes in a smaller suitcase for my carry on.

This was the worst decision I could have possibly made.

Just imagine this tiny 16 year old girl, hobbling on and off the airplane with this big suitcase that was actually twice her size.

I had all kinds of funny looks.

The next adventure of this trip arose when I finally realized that living with a Spanish-speaking family, and not knowing any Spanish other than what I learned in school, was probably the hardest thing I was going to encounter.

Within the first week of staying in the Dominican Republic, I had told people I wanted to eat toad instead of soup.

I needed to learn Spanish fast.

As my trip continued, my Spanish became better, but my living situation didn’t.

One night, we arrived home very late.

I was ready to shower and go to bed, but there was a problem.

The water and electricity had been turned off in the house.

In my broken Spanish, including hand motions, I explained to the family the water was not working.

They told me it happens all the time, and they could fix it.

I was so happy; all I wanted was a shower. I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up. Juana (the lady I stayed with), brought in a bucket of water, a sponge and a cup. She explained to dip the cup into the bucket of water, then pour it on my head, and use the sponge for my body.

I couldn’t believe I was about to give myself a sponge bath.

My trip finally came to an end and I was ready to head back to Texas.

At this point you would think my amazing adventures were over as a missionary, but instead there was still one more to come.

I landed in Dallas, but before I could see my family, I had to go through customs.  There was a nice lady who was checking all the bags and passports.

When I reached her she asked me “Where are your parents?”

I began to explain to her I had traveled by myself and lived with a family in the Dominican Republic for a month.

I’m guessing she didn’t like that answer very well because I was sent into an empty room, as more uniformed people began to question me.

As I continued to explain what I have been doing for the past month, they came to the conclusion I had run away from home.

Finally, as an hour and half slowly went by, they let me go to find my very nervous parents waiting for me.

I was so relieved to see them. While all these crazy things happened to me, it also taught me plenty in return.

By bringing all those heavy supplies, I was able to provide fun activities to kids who needed the most love.

Not speaking Spanish well gave me an opportunity to have deeper relationships with them.

Taking sponge baths multiple times in that month made me realize how much we actually take for granted in the United States.

Finally, being stopped at the airport for questions opened up doors for me to share the gospel with people who may have never heard about Jesus.

Everything happens for a reason; it’s just a matter of how we look at it, negative or positive.

I choose the positive and to make many memories in the process. The adventures of a missionary can be a lot of fun.

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