You can picture it now... living in a shack with a roof made of locally grown palm trees, thick rays of hot sunlight seeping through, dirt floor, dust everywhere, insects, bugs, snakes, rats, (shall I continue?) all living alongside you...
1) I'll have to live in a shack
YES... it's true that many missionaries are called to this lifestyle (thank you all who are!) but that is not the cookie-cutter outline for missionary life. Last time I checked (pretty recently actually) there were lots of unsaved people living and breathing in New York City. I can't imagine you living in a shack as a missionary in New York City. Instead, we live alongside the people. We live like the people. That may be a shack, a dorm room on a base, a 4 bedroom home, or a beautiful apartment overlooking a booming city.
2) Thousands will be radically led to the Lord every single day
Some days you will sweat and slave all day working to feed your team.
Some days you will strategize and plan until you're blue in the face.
Some days you will scream and pray and fast and beg God for revelation.
Some days you will start new ministries.
...And yes... Some days you will watch the lost weep in front of you as they finally surrender their lives to Him. Those are the days that make the rest of them 100% worth it.
3) I'm going to be miserable and poor
I'm willing to bet you'll be happier than you've ever been. You may have "less" materially than others, but the joy and excitement of being smack in the center of God's will for your life far exceeds anything that any amount of money could ever purchase you.
4) I'm going to starve!! ... but on a positive note, I guess I'll lose weight?
Well.... especially if you're a traveling missionary, my guess is that you'll actually have to battle not gaining weight! That's right... you heard me.... not GAINING weight. People love missionaries and people love showing their love through food. "Welcome to my church or town or village... here's a full course meal followed by your choice of 16 desserts!"
5) What about my family!? I'll probably never see them...
God loves family. Man, He's the one who created it in the first place. He constantly provides for those thousand dollar tickets home, or for those 50 dollar bus tickets across town. Whatever it is... He is FOR you, not against you. He loves you and knows the value of family and relationships. Lean on Him and trust Him to provide. And who knows... maybe He'll even nudge your family to hop on a plane and visit you!
Moral of the story?
God is good, all the time. If you feel like He's calling you on this journey of becoming a missionary, don't let questions or doubts like this hinder you! Dive in and watch Him shake the ideas you "thought" were true about being a missionary, and blow your mind with what more He has in store for you.
Find out more about becoming a missionary: