When we were back in the states last month, I had two different people ask me that question as we were talking about the ministry we do. They know we are fully appointed missionaries, meaning that we are wholly supported by churches and individuals through our sending agency, and therefore draw a salary from part of that support.
However, the question was asked in the context of our working and teaching at educational institutions. (One is a bible institute and the other is the national missions training center).
My surprise at their question mirrored their surprise at my answer.
They had assumed that since we are working in an educational environment, there was some remuneration from the institutions themselves- after all, college professors in the US are paid, aren’t they?
I had assumed they knew that missionaries, once on the field, depend one hundred percent on the support they are promised; no income from any source within the host country is received, regardless of the ministry or work.
How about you? What do you assume (or simply not know) about missionaries and their support/pay?
If you are a missionary, have you experienced similar conversations? Have you assumed ‘everyone out there’ knows these things?
Your feedback would be interesting.