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“What does your husband do?”

At a deputation event yesterday, a lovely and very supportive older woman asked me, ‘What does your husband do?’ At first I was confused. ‘We’re both going to Tanzania,’ I said. Then I worked out, she was asking because she’s assuming that Arthur’s the ‘missionary’ and I’m ‘the wife’.

That’s how ‘missions’ used to be — like, back in the 50s — they’d list the man as the missionary, and after his name there’d be a little ‘w’ (for ‘wife’) if he was married. These days, both partners are seen to have a significant role to play, regardless of who is the official visa holder. CMS talks about sending families.

Anyway, I said that we’d be working in student ministry together at a university. That’s reflected on our residency permits as well – Arthur and I both had to fill one in. (Although admittedly, I went on Arthur’s as ‘accompanying wife’ but there was no place for me to write about my ‘accompanying husband’ on mine!)

Categories: Tanzania Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

4 replies

  1. Hi there. Just discovered your blog through the fountainside. Our very good friends are missionaries in Tanzania – you might bump into them some time :)

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