There has been much talk about quarantine, self isolation and restrictions about going out around the world with the global pandemic at hand.  As we have heard others talk and have read articles about life in the US currently, we must admit there are some striking similarities to being a missionary.  Let us explain...
The first is being separated from your "normal" life and really not knowing what to expect.  You can't go visit friends, catch a movie, or go to a nice restaurant.  The world can become very small and isolating.  When we first signed up for missions full time, we expected a lot of things to be the same as going on short term trips or even the couple years we served in Chile.  However, we changed fields, so things changed a bit more drastically for us.  We also went from serving in a first world context to a third world/developing world context.  
We were in for many cultural adjustments!  Phyllis didn't know how to wash dishes safely due to contaminated water.  Sickness and death all of a sudden seemed to be a normal thing with dengue, malaria, typhoid, polio, Tb, dysentery, and AIDS around us.  Some of the precautions we hear talked about regarding Covid-19 had to become normal for us in our context.  The fear you may have felt with this current pandemic can be a normal feeling for a missionary and can very quickly become debilitating if not dealt with through God’s Word and His hope!
Then there were the everyday things in life that we took for granted but changed drastically in a developing world context.  For example, laundry became an all day undertaking, cooking from scratch was a steep learning curve as well as learning to cook without meat at many meals.  Even things like going for a drive was something we enjoyed doing in the US.....Phyllis has not driven herself anywhere in over two years.  She does not know how to drive a manual transmission (only option), the roads are not good, and it is really not a safe thing to do....just going for a drive, that is.  As the Disney character, Aladdin, sings, it was indeed, " A Whole New World!"  Part of it was indeed, "....shining, shimmering, splendid..."  There was opportunity at every corner to share Jesus and the hope He offers!  However, as the honeymoon period wore off, we were faced with some stark realities too.  This is not to say we regret any of it or would do anything different. 
An overhead view and perspective of missions is that it is exciting and full of adventure.  There is plenty of excitement and adventure, but there are many realities that some of you may be able to relate to now better than before.  As you’re feeling lonely, isolated and restricted, we wanted to challenge you to consider using those feelings and using them as a prayer guide for the missionaries in your life.  We are all in this together, and it’s at times like that God can use the 'hard' and shine His light and hope even brighter if we have the courage to hold onto Him!!!
Gunner and Moriah getting ready to go out for a walk

If you don’t follow the house rules we now have an on-site Officer!  The handcuff has to disappear quickly though as Moriah kept getting placed in them and the key was always missing...