It's weird. Things that used to be fun to me have lost a lot of their appeal. Social networking and coffee are still a part of my life, but my perspective and passions are changed every time I return home from a mission trip. I feel like so much of what I considered important isn't anymore. Serving God is addictive and fulfilling to the core.
I had some new realizations on this last trip to India about benefits missionaries today enjoy that no previous generation knew:
Thanks to facetime or skype we can stay in touch with family back home. We can connect with friends across the world on a minute by minute basis. Netscape popularized the internet as recently as 1992. We are the first generation to enjoy this.
Airplanes were used in World Wars 1 & 2, but for decades after the beginning of the 20th century were seen simply as war toys with no real use. It was only in the 50's that airplanes began to be introduced as travel opportunities for the everyday person.
Today we can fly nearly anywhere in the world in 24 hours. We are really only the 2nd generation to take advantage of this. No other generation in the history of the world has had this level of freedom and possibility.
3. Bottled Water
Previously while traveling across the world, water needed to be treated or boiled in order for foreigners to enjoy it without getting sick.
Realistically, bottled water was originated by Poland Spring in 1845 and Perrier in 1863. However, it was only recently that bottled water has caught on as a global phenomenon.
Our generation is really one of the first to enjoy fresh bottled water nearly anywhere we are called by God to go in the world. This saves us unexplainable time, energy and worry to be able to focus on our call.
4. Global Brands
Also within the last century, riding the wave of the internet and globalization have come global brands.
Starbucks isn't an American phenomenon - it exists and thrives in many countries of the world.
Coca Cola, Pepsi, International banking companies and much more exist and thrive across the world.
It is surprising and can be very comforting to see familiar signs, promotions and foods while en route to reach the world.
While only a recent phenomenon, global brands enable our generation to travel and work with ease like no generation before us.