As with any job, our work has its ongoing tensions. One of these is material possessions. General ministry principles encourage cross-cultural workers not to live too far above or too far below those to whom you are ministering. The unique challenge we face is that we do not work with one social status but serve and encourage those living in many different levels. Some of the families we work with still pile their family of five on one motorbike. Others have two cars. So when I went to buy a mountain bike the other day, I had to consider how others would react, not out of guilt but out of respect. “Should we get a bookshelf?” becomes a question not only of budget but of maintaining approachability for those who live off a much lower income than most of us can imagine. Years ago in Nepal, I used to deal with teams who were struggling with the quality of their $3 steak… and later that afternoon take a bunch of bananas to my friends who were struggling to keep their babies nourished. This is not a new tension for us to live with, but an ongoing area which we have to hold up to God in prayer.