Saturday, July 4, 2015

An Open Letter to Missionaries and Other Expats.

My Dear Friends,

You have chosen to leave your life in your home country and move across the world to a place that may or may not speak the same language, have the same currency or even similar weather. It is an admirable thing that you have done.

I understand the desire to make things as comfortable and familiar as you can in order to adjust to your new surroundings. If you have children, that desire can be even stronger in an effort to help your children adjust.

You look for things that you can bring into the home setting to make it feel more like what you are used to. Could be furniture or wall hangings or pictures of the family back home. But please consider, before getting a pet the consequences of that choice.

Most missionaries go for terms os one to two years and then go back home for a period of 4 to 6 months. Pets are a commitment. A long term commitment. A dog or a cat cannot just be put away like the belongings you put in storage.

Someone down the road is going to be forced to make the tough calls that you didn't have the guts to make when you left. No one likes making the choice to put an animal down. Why force someone to take care of an animal that you selfishly decided to get for a few years and then had to leave it for others to deal with.

Please, unless you know you are going to be someplace for the next 10 years, think twice or maybe three times before getting that nice little puppy or kitten. I know there are valid reasons for having both, but unless you are willing to do something BEFORE you leave, don't. And no I don't mean emotionally blackmailing another person to say they will care for it.

If you really want an animal, get a fish or a hampster. Or better yet get a chicken or pig, or cow. Have mercy on those coming after you.

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