What do you do for a living?

It has been a dilemma of mine. When filling up that boarding card (or anything else, for that matter). What to put in “Occupation”? I used to put “student” which only lasted a few years. I then used “Youth Worker”. But felt guilty after moving on from Youth Ministry. I put “Missionary” for a while, but it was hard to get through immigration with that. I now interchange “Pastoral Worker”, “Program Head” and “Coordinator”. But do those titles really describe what I do?

It also is an interesting situation when friends and relatives ask what I do. “I am a missionary” doesn’t really answer the question. “So what do you do?” is the usual answer. “Um.. I give talks. And put up conferences…” always iffy answers and unsure roles. Not because I do not know what I do, but because those tasks don’t even come close to what I am trying to explain.

So what do I do? What has kept me as a Missionary for the past 13 years?

What do I do for a living?

I speak the truth.

That God loves you. And no matter how bad you feel, or empty, that he is there for you. Waiting for you to come to Him with your problems. So He can give you a big, great hug and tell you everything will be ok.

That you are special. You are NOT insignificant. And you are NOT useless. We were all made for a reason – and whether we see that reason as important or not, is up to us. But we all have a special role to play in the world.

That you are important. People see Christ in you. And that makes you important. Important for others to see that there are good people in the world. And it doesn’t matter if you are struggling and striving to be good – we are all like that.

That you make Him smile. God watches over us. And He smiles when we do things that help other people. And He smiles when we try our best. And He smiles when we try to make plans for our lives. He is there smiling and guiding us as we go through life.

And that this world is a hard place to live in… but not an impossible place to live in. There are so many temptations and possible wrong choices. But we can always choose the right path. And we can always do the right thing. And that will give us a taste of the life that is waiting for us.

And that people want to be told the truth. No one likes being lied to. And everyone appreciates the truth, no matter how much it hurts. So, yes, I tell the truth. That’s what I do for a living. And I see myself doing this for a very, very, very long time.


  1. I share the dilemma with the immigration thing. They asked a lot about what we do, and other stuffs that will ensure them that we’re not terrorists or whatsoever and just using the term “missionary” as our occupation. =P

    And yes, I am proud to be one. It makes me feel privileged to be called despite of my unworthiness. And that privilege should be shared and inspire others.

    Tell the truth. You defined our job very well. 🙂 God bless!

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