Is My Brother on a Mission?

Is My Brother on a Mission?

You may or may not know this, but I am not a religious person (spiritual: YES, religious: NO). There have been a few posts in the past where I extoll the virtues of my god-fearing-yet bordering-on-sociopath-parents and my brother who is forever trying to make them proud of him. They are not my favorite people. They embarrass me. I am ashamed to say that I was raised by them because I think that I turned out to be a pretty awesome person — they, in my humble opinion, are not pretty awesome people. (But, also, I am VERY grateful to them, because if they weren’t the completely yucky people that they are, I wouldn’t have turned out to be ME!)

  • My father is a complete and total asshole, he is incapable of feeling anything except a sense of duty, nothing else (no kidding, you should meet him just so you can believe me — everyone else has!). He drowns squirrels in a bucket every summer because they’re eating the bird food (FYI – they live in the freaking wilderness!! What does he expect!?) If you ask him or my mother, they can tell you exactly how many he has drowned every summer since they moved there 9 years ago! (Would Christ have done that?)
  • My mother used to be a self-absorbed pious hypocrite, now she’s much less self-absorbed and I don’t feel like I am constantly being judged by her, but she’s still a pious hypocrite. She poisons baby racoons (because they’re eating the fishes in the Koi pond. Again, they live in the freaking wilderness…) and then makes jokes about how the mother raccoon comes by her kitchen window every day just to glare at her (Shit! I would glare at the bitch who poisoned my babies, too! Every single goddamn day!)
  • My brother is forever trying to impress someone with something — having more kids to catch up with his best friend (or a blog!), getting a humongous house to keep up with the Joneses, changing jobs every 2 years because he “can’t find the right fit”. Maybe he’s trying to make our father proud (which is impossible, NO ONE can make our father proud! Shit!!), maybe he’s trying to get into heaven… I don’t know what’s up with him, I just know that watching him try to find inner peace is a total joke. He married the fat version of our mother — when she was that age. SCARY!!! Hopefully she mellows with age like my mom did **sigh**. Either way, I feel bad for his 4 (and counting) children.

Last summer my brother went on a mission to Costa Rica. He left his wife with a brand new baby and three other children (the oldest was 7) in order to teach Business to some high school students. He posted it on his family blog. Here is an excerpt (names have been changed to protect the ‘innocent’):

…Some of you might be wondering: what are you doing in Costa Rica, Bob? Well, I’m glad you asked! Our team is going to be teaching business classes to, what I think, is a primarily Christian audience. A couple guys are going to be teaching about how to start a business, like creating a business plan. I am going to be talking to young adults (late teens, early twenties) about starting a career in technology and using technology to enhance a ministry. Young ticos are very interested in technology, especially anything from the United States. Some large US tech companies have been expanding to Costa Rica. We are working with interpreters that have been paired with us based on their backgrounds and the topics being taught.
 
As I write I am reminded of Romans 8:31 where Paul asks, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Before coming to Costa Rica, Dan reminded us frequently to “be flexible.” That’s how I’m heading into this week. I’m not at all nervous or fearful, which as most of you know is unusual for me. I’ve given every part of this trip to Him, His will, and His glory. I’m sure we are on Satan’s radar, so if we do encounter his ilk I will remember that our suffering today is nothing compared to the glory that will be revealed in us. (Rom. 8:18)

This summer he is taking his wife + his two ‘favorite’ kids and leaving the other two middle children in the U.S. (to be traded back and forth amongst various families over their summer break), so they can go to Berlin to teach Vacation Bible School with his best friend’s family.

I asked my mother what it was all about and what she described to me was much more like an exchange program. There are two families from Berlin coming to the United States, too…

Is that really a mission?!?! It sounds more like a sponsored European vacation to me.

Regardless, my brother and his wife are calling this a Mission and they need our prayers and donations because their church will not sponsor them (probably because it’s NOT a mission!).

No offense, but I’m pretty sure that there are bigger things for God to do than focus on Vacation Bible School in Germany (where I just found out my brother will be teaching them line dancing!). Shouldn’t God be focused more on genocide and starving children, civil rights, the extinction of polar bears, World War Z, etc??? You know, bad things. If my brother was going to Germany to work in a food kitchen in the ghetto to help some starving, homeless people THAT would be different, I would consider THAT to be a mission.

mis·sion

[mish-uhn]

noun

(brought to you by dictionary.com)

  1. A group or committee of persons sent to a foreign country to conduct negotiations, establish relations, provide scientific and technical assistance, or the like.
  2. The business with which such a group is charged.
  3. Any important task or duty that is assigned, allotted, or self-imposed: Our mission is to find the child a safe home.
  4. An important goal or purpose that is accompanied by strong conviction; a calling or vocation: She has finally found her mission in life.
  5. Sending or being sent for some duty or purpose.
  6. Those sent.
  7. Also called foreign mission: A permanent diplomatic establishment abroad; embassy; legation.
  8. Military: an operational task, usually assigned by a higher headquarters: a mission to bomb the bridge.
  9. Aerospace: an operation designed to carry out the goals of a specific program: a space mission.
  10. Also called foreign mission: a group of persons sent by a church to carry on religious work, especially evangelization in foreign lands, and often to establish schools, hospitals, etc.
  11. An establishment of missionaries in a foreign land; a missionary church or station.
  12. A similar establishment in any region.
  13. The district assigned to a missionary.
  14. Missionary duty or work.
  15. An organization for carrying on missionary work.
  16. Also called rescue mission: a shelter operated by a church or other organization offering food, lodging, and other assistance to needy persons.
  17. Missions, organized missionary work or activities in any country or region.
  18. A church or a region dependent on a larger church or denomination.
  19. A series of special religious services for increasing religious devotion and converting unbelievers: to preach a mission.
  20. Af or pertaining to a mission.
  21. ( usually initial capital letter ) Noting or pertaining to a style of American furniture of the early 20th century, created in supposed imitation of the furnishings of the Spanish missions of California and characterized by the use of dark, stained wood, by heaviness, and by extreme plainness.
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6 thoughts on “Is My Brother on a Mission?

  1. Yeah. My husbands brother is like this too. He is a “pastor” (Internet ordained) and they (he and his wife) are always finding ways to use the church’s money for things for them….(that they ALWAYS claim is for others, etc…) I think he is on his 3rd church now. He started two others, but I think the members soon caught on to his spending in the name of God, and somehow, he was always “called to do something else” or what have you, prior to his small churches dissolving.

    This new church was handed down to him, and each time something like this takes place, they all of the sudden have a new roof on their home, a new “more reliable” vehicle….you know….one that can fit in extra church members for “trips” (aka: new large SUV). He is the most insincere, racist, judgemental, manipulative person I’ve ever known. He AND his wife.

    The saddest thing is that they are raising their 3 children to be just like them. Needless to say, holidays or family trips, are not something I look forward to, and have actually started refusing to go to, recently.

    So, yeah…I know the type. And what always amazes me, is that ANYTIME someone makes a large donation or does something for his family etc….they always say it is a gift from God. How God Is good and always provides. (And I’m not trying to be blasphemous) BUT…..the people who go out and WORK everyday, to help pay your way…..those are the people who the “blessing” is from. God didn’t sign their check.

    In my opinion, it is “Christians” like THEM, that give “religion” a bad name. Ugh. I feel your pain on this one! And, I HAVE to go on a 5 day family trip with them and my husbands parents and all of our kids, on Monday. I’m totally pumped. (Sarcasm).

    1. Thank you for sharing that!
      Interestingly… My mother had an illness as a child (rheumatic fever) and it ruined a couple of the valves in her heart. Eventually she had to have one of her valves replaced with one from a pig. The surgery was successful and in 5 days my mother was back up vacuuming again (much to her doctor’s and my father’s chagrin) saying how blessed she was that God had healed her heart. Before I knew what I was saying, I said to her, “No, Mom. I’m pretty sure that your expert surgeon, who you sought out, is that one that healed you — and the 9.5 hour surgery. I’m not sure your doctor even HAS a relationship with God.” (her surgeon was Asian, so Asian that he could barely speak English. Just saying…)
      Sorry you have to spend an eternity with the in-laws next week! XOX — will it help if I say “it will be over before you know it”?

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