This question never ceases to crack me up! There just isn't a “typical day” for us. We never had a typical week in Peru, either, although is was a completely different schedule and lifestyle! The life of a cross-cultural worker (CCW) or missionary is always punctuated by random acts and divine appointments and teachable moments… we are continually working on something (we have to-do lists, too, just like anyone), but always ready to drop it all to meet with someone who stops by or calls for us. Our days don’t follow “normal” work hours, as we are constantly molding our schedule to fit what pops up of happens. I can give you an example of what our days usually look like (ha ha ha!):
We always try to be up at 5:30 a.m., but it is usually closer to 6 before our feet hit the floor. Quiet time / devotionals, then catch up on some quick internet world news. Sarah is up at 7:30. Family breakfast, then off to school. We walk Sarah to school each day (15 minutes there), then we head off (brisk walking) to the town center to try to combine some exercise with some errands and some cultural learning. We take a different route almost every day, so we have now almost walked 2/3 of the city’s streets. We stop along the way to do any banking or light shopping or post office things that need to be done. Our town is all uphill / downhill, so it is a decent workout. Almost daily, we run into someone we know and stop to talk for a bit. Home by 10:30 or 11:00 a.m.
Showers, dishes, laundry, then office work… contacting several of the other missionaries whom we care for, writing for the blog or the newsletter or the TMS website we are working, writing curriculum for the coaching workshop we will teach in January, etc. At least once a week, that plan gets side railed by an urgent need from another field, a counseling or coaching call, expense reports or time-sensitive issues that need to be dealt with. And at least once or twice a week, none of the office stuff happens because we receive a call to come meet someone for coffee and discussion, which always becomes a fantastic 3 hour meeting that we know was planned by God Himself. Morning office time is important, as it is our only time when Sarah is not in the house and doesn’t need help with homework, and we have hours then when the USA is still sleeping (i.e. no emails, no calls from USA, no urgent requests for anything from that side of the world) - so we try to get a lot accomplished before 2 p.m. This is when we can be most effective in the office, as well as work with ‘this side of the globe’ on ministry, counseling, and coaching.
Walk to school to get Sarah by 2 p.m., then we walk home and have lunch. Spaniards have a big family lunch in the afternoon, then they have siesta hours until 4:30 or 5… but not our family. We eat lunch and we take a small break until 4 p.m. at the latest… can’t afford longer breaks as Sarah is playing catch-up this year in school and she is swamped with homework (usually 4+ hours of homework each night). Sarah gets to work, as do we. Afternoons become a little more hectic, as we begin to get emails and Skype calls from the USA for ministry things, etc. If we have meetings with missionaries who are in their preparation stages, or if we meet with the office for anything, those calls happen in the afternoon for us.
Late afternoon and evening time is a juggling game, as we have ministry things (bible study, meetings with people) or “extras”… Sarah has a class on Wednesday evenings and we have a bible study and fellowship with another couple. Every week on alternating days (Monday or Tuesday), Laurie has a group meeting; and again on either Thursday or Friday, depending on the week, she has another group in another town. Billy meets his friend to help him with English, or with another friend to talk about culture and immigrant issues.
We try to have dinner at 8:30ish, Sarah is in bed by 9:30, and we are finally ready to sit an relax together or fall asleep reading. We try to be in bed by 10:30 or 11 p.m. so we can start all over again tomorrow. ☺
Who am I? In my USA life, I was a teacher for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a Southern Living / Martha Stewart wannabe, a soccer mom, and a short term mission team coordinator / intern director for missions in Mexico... you name it, I probably tried it!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! We have three incredible children... two adult boys who live in Texas, and the princess Sarah (13) lives with us in whatever country we are serving. I'm still teaching, still taking photos, still leading teams and mentoring, I just do it all in full-time service now! And I'm working hard at giving Southern Living and Martha Stewart a run for their money! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in el campo in Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers and immigrant peoples, writing, and trying to figure out what life looks like for a Texas girl serving Christ in Southern Europe. Life in His service is AWESOME! I'm happy to share it with you here... Enjoy!