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A genuine live-like-the-natives, cross-culture experience may encourage romantic notions of exotic adventure abroad or discourage you from ever returning. Please note that we are talking about visiting an underdeveloped nation with no key to a five-star, air-conditioned hotel room with a pool and a gourmet restaurant.
The highly developed, cosmopolitan country of Singapore, for example, with its mega income, technology, communication and transportation systems, does not qualify. McDonald’s, Burger King, K-Mart and a zillion other U.S. multi-national companies are embedded in the landscape. Mercedes and BMWs abound and virtually everyone speaks English.
On the other hand, you can travel to Belize, Central America, where English is the official language, and have the feeling that you have just stepped back in time about one hundred years and more in the jungle villages and banana plantations like Cowpen. Some missionaries from the outset, or in time, may enjoy most of the comforts of their homeland. So much depends on the mission location and objectives. You may be going to an established mission base or compound complete with a washing machine and telephone.
Perhaps you have the funds, or the faith, to rent a place of your own and enjoy normal conveniences in town or a rural area. Conversely your mission service may necessitate a pioneering effort far from normal creature comforts and ongoing Christian fellowship.