Monday, July 19, 2004

One Small Step for the Magruders ...

The traveling sideshow that is the Magruder family appeared in two places on Sunday, July 18. I spoke to a Sunday School class at Lovers Lane UMC, while Leah made a presentation to a class at Preston Hollow UMC. Then I hopped over to Preston Hollow, where Dr. Georjean Blanton kindly gave me the pulpit.

Everywhere we go, there is an outpouring of support and admiration. People really think that we are making some sort of sacrifice in order to go overseas.

I question what kind of sacrifice we’re really making, to be honest. If you haven’t heard, the world is quite small these days. It’s a global village, they say. Instant communication, worldwide web, blogs … We really aren’t going that far away.

Being a missionary, say, seventy-five years ago, now that would have been a challenge! In order to get to Cameroon we would have to board an ocean liner, sail for weeks, land and travel in a caravan to a mission station, and been left to make the best of it. We would have to send our children hundreds of miles away to a boarding school where they could receive a Western-style education. If we were lucky, the occasional letter might get back home to the States. If we were really lucky, we might return alive to the States.

Needless to say, things have changed. We will get to Cameroon in less than two days; we’ll live in a modern apartment, complete with electricity, running water, and TV. Our kids will catch a bus to attend an American school. I’ll be able to keep posting to this blog on a regular basis.

We will not live in constant danger, threat, or poverty. And if a tragedy or disaster arose, a quick e-mail could likely get us a plane ticket home. We plan to be back in the States in just three years on furlough. After that, we may very well be headed somewhere else in the world, or we might go back to parish ministry in the conference.

The truth is … we’ve got it easy.