Church Members Say the Darndest Things to Their Missionaries

Written by Larry Dinkins on .

guest post by Larry Dinkins

Growing up, I enjoyed a TV program called, “Kid’s Say the Darndest Things” hosted by Art Linkletter. A few of my favorites are:

What do we learn from the story of Jesus turning water into wine?
The more wine we get, the better the wedding is.

When God punished Eve, what did he make her become?
A housewife.

What ever happened to Adam and Eve?
God sent them to Hell and then transferred them to Los Angeles


Recently I read an article called “25 Really Strange Things Members Said to Their Pastors” on It made me think of strange things that I’ve been asked during my 37 years as a missionary to Thai people. During my mission career, church members have come up to me saying they have been following my ministry for years and would like to ask me some questions. I am pleased, of course, but many questions are so clueless that I am thinking of making a large laminated FAQ sheet with answers printed on it so I can simply point to the answers (a few of the following questions are fictitious, but most are questions I’ve been asked in all sincerity):

You live near the equator, is it very hot there?
Yes, my motorcycle overheats before I even have a chance to start it.

What are the four seasons like in Thailand?
Actually we have only three seasons in Thailand: hot, hotter and hottest.

Have you ever been swallowed by a cobra?
No, but a garden snake once bit my finger.

Do you drink the water there in Thailand?
Yes, I do drink the water. You get very dehydrated if you don’t.

Is “The King and I” movie a true story?
No, and the King of Thailand is not Yul Brunner.

Is Thai food very spicy?
Yes, Thai food is so hot and spicy that it melts your styrofoam “doggy bag”

Have you ever met the Siamese Twins?
Sorry, I never had the pleasure …  they passed away in 1874 (two-and-a-half hours apart)

Do you own a Siamese cat?
Actually, I’ve never seen one in Thailand (some think they came from Egypt)

Are there still cannibals in Thailand?
No, Thai don’t eat people (a few dogs maybe)

I hear you are a missionary in Thailand? Is your family with you?
No, I’ve not seen them for the last couple of terms.

Is it hard to send your children to boarding school?
No, it was quite easy to send our kids away for four months, to a different country. when they were six years old! Alternative answer: No, the last time I saw the ‘fam’ was on August 11, 1987 on a tiger-infested trail in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia.

We heard you are sending your children to boarding school. Please don’t do that. Fred and I have talked it over and we are willing to raise them for you. Would you let us do that?
Of course, just give me your forwarding address.

Do you live in a mud hut?
Actually we rent a 2,000 square foot, 5 bedroom, split level suburban tract home.

Are you able to take baths there?
Yes, at least once a month (twice a month during the hot season)

Do you sleep on the floor?
Right now I’m using a King Size Signature Sleep Adjustable Memory Foam Mattress

Do you speak the language?
Yes, after 37 years I’ve finally managed to put a few rudimentary sentences together.

Have you ever been hijacked?
No, but my plane was once diverted to Seoul in bad weather

Is Thailand next to Nicaragua?
No, it’s a bit closer to Asia than Central America.

What’s it like there in Thighland (or Taiwan)?
Let me spell it for you … Thailand:  T-H-A-I-L-A-N-D

Are you a missionary? Have you encountered any odd or memorable questions over the years?  
Please feel free to share in the comments section below.  Thanks!

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