9.26.2010

I’m writing this so you won’t judge me.

There’s this funny thing that happens when you go from being an ordinary citizen to one who is in the direct employ of God. Here it is:

All of a sudden, things like what kind of TV you own, or what kind of car you drive become fodder for public scrutiny and an invitation for the type of Christian on Christian judgmentalism otherwise reserved for pastors who get caught having gay sex in airport bathrooms.

“What will people think?” becomes the litmus test for every dollar spent by those of us who work in fulltime ministry.

I can honestly say that before we became missionaries I never worried about what people thought of our big plasma TV. It didn’t really matter to anybody whether or not we had a gym membership or if we had HBO. Talk of a family vacation was celebrated with a pat-on-the-back mentality, “You deserve this, You’ve worked for it – Have Fun!” But then, you go and become a pastor, or a worship leader, or a missionary, and you find yourself at the mercy of good people who give generously so that you can survive, and everything sort of changes.

I’m telling you all of this because….well….because….. oh jeez, this is kind of hard to say out loud...

Ok.

We’re going to Disney World. On Thursday.

BUT, BEFORE YOU JUDGE ME, HEAR ME OUT.

Shut up. Calm down. Just....listen.

Ok. Yes. We are going to Disney World, but, we’re only doing this because it turned out to be the cheapest way for us to renew our Visas. And I know you think I’m lying but this is true.

You know how we have to leave the country every 90 days so that we aren’t illegal aliens? Yeah, so it’s been three months and we have to leave again. We looked at all of our usual cheapskate border crossing adventures, including 20 million hour bus rides and creepy hostels. But then we remembered that we had this big fat credit on Spirit Air because Spirit Air is a dirty liar and when they say “Fully Refundable” what they really mean is “Fully Creditable” so when you buy a very expensive ticket from them thinking that you’ll cancel it and get your money back, what you’ll really get is a big, fat credit to use on an airline that doesn’t fly anywhere near anyplace you’d ever actually want to go. Except for Orlando. And then we remembered that we have a Disney Rewards credit card which we have used for all of our expenses for the past 15 years, so we’ve accrued quite a lot of “points” to be used on Disney junk, including but not limited to theme park tickets.

So, I booked a flight on Spirit using that stupid credit, I acquired park passes for free, and I reserved a room in a dirtbag motel for $32 a night. This is officially our cheapest Visa renewal trip ever. Seriously. Besides food and a disgusting, filthy, cheap place to sleep, this trip is practically free.

I just wanted you to know all of that so you won’t be like “What the hell is wrong with this picture?! Why is this missionary family at freaking Disney World???”

So there it is. We’re going to Disney World, and we’re going to enjoy the crap out of it. Also? We’re going to continue to be extraordinarily grateful for the gifts that make our service as missionaries possible. We hope to honor God, but we also hope to honor our supporters in all of the financial decisions we make.

El Chupacabra and I thank you. Our children thank you. Mickey Mouse thanks you.