Not long after arriving in Papua New Guinea I began to notice a disturbing trend among a lot of other missionaries here, one of which I now refer to as “Missionary Feet.”
What you need to know is that many people here simply don’t wear shoes, and if they do, 9 times out of 10 they wear flip-flops. So, as missionaries who want to relate to the people they minister to, it would just be impractical to sport the newest Nike styling as we hang out with our bare-footed friends…and super hot.
Due to this, accompanied by other “life in the tropics” factors, my dogs…despite my best efforts, have now entered the ranks worthy of “missionary feet” status. My soles have gotten to be noticeably thicker…and stained (if not from plain ole dirt then from the fresh piles of buai spit I manage to step in on what seems to be a weekly basis,) infections that are now just a routine part of life now, and my latest adornment (or lack thereof) is the loss two toenails, one that is hanging by a thread, or literally a painful piece of skin, oh…and a big toenail that looks as if I let my daughters loose on it with their Barbie toenail polish.
I’m not saying all this to complain…though I wouldn’t mind having all my toenails. I see it, rather, as a mark of being a part of the work that my wife and I have prepared for for a long time. So, to all my yellow toenailed, thick, flat, and stained footed missionary friends…it’s good to be a part of the club…I think.