Wedding Woes

Mission trip con

Dear Prudence,
Recently my teenage daughter told me her mom (my ex-wife) went to India for a vacation, but that she traveled there with a church group performing charity work. My ex has always been critical of organized religion, so her affiliation with a church was surprising—until my daughter told me her mom only went because the trip was cheaper that way. She feigned food poisoning for the majority of the trip to ditch the group and tour the area instead. I didn’t know how to respond to that information, so I said something vague and changed the subject. Last night my daughter told me she was traveling to Mexico with her mom—again, with a religious mission group. Her mom has already outlined how they will get out of their volunteer work to go to the beach, and my daughter is very excited for the trip. The situation makes me uncomfortable. Despite our bitter relationship, I try not to badmouth my ex around our child. But I also don’t want my daughter to follow her mom’s example. Is there something I can say or do?

—Skewed Moral Compass

Re: Mission trip con

  • Talk to your daughter about the value of volunteering. Talk to her about saying she will do one thing (mission work) and doing another (vacationing). And talk to her about making the right decision for herself. Don't bad mouth the mom, but have an honest conversation about her plans. Let her talk about whether she thinks what she's doing is okay. 
    This.
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers

    I was about to defend the ex-wife until I saw that she pretends to be sick to get out of the volunteer work!  That is just despicable!

    Charlotte has the right idea about teaching the daughter right from wrong and how important volunteering can be.  Perhaps LW could do some volunteering with the daughter when he has her. 

    While the ex-wife is a horrible person for doing this, I don't feel this qualifies to go to court for revised visitation or anything else.  But LW should document these issues for any future issues that may arise.

    charlotte989875
  • Huh.  I'm more shocked that it was cheaper to go through a mission group than anything.  B/c the trips I've seen in the churches around here, ain't cheap.

    This would be wrong no matter what the trip was affiliated with.  If you are saying you're going to do thing A, you do it.  Not skip out to do thing B.
    DrillSergeantCatOliveOilsMomMNNEBridecowgirl8238
  • So everything that's wrong w/ "short-term missions" ('poverty tourism') combined with everything wrong w/ parts of humanity.

    I got nothin.
    kimmiinthemittenTrixieJessmonkeysipShesSoCold
  • levioosalevioosa Southern California member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Wow.  Just......wow.  But I bet LW's ex-wife constantly wonders why people think Christians are hypocritical.  


    image
  • VarunaTT said:
    Huh.  I'm more shocked that it was cheaper to go through a mission group than anything.  B/c the trips I've seen in the churches around here, ain't cheap.

    This would be wrong no matter what the trip was affiliated with.  If you are saying you're going to do thing A, you do it.  Not skip out to do thing B.
    Some of them do fundraising before the trip in order to defray the costs, though normally you need to participate in the efforts before the trip.  But the groups my college church groups sent were careful to make sure it was worth the labor instead of just sending money.  

    And since they mentioned Mexico...I really wonder where they're going on  mission trip that would make for a good vacation.  Our Mission Mexico group went to a town that was really dangerous.  Like, the priest they coordinated was publicly murdered a few weeks after the trip dangerous.  
    MNNEBridecowgirl8238
  • levioosa said:
    Wow.  Just......wow.  But I bet LW's ex-wife constantly wonders why people think Christians are hypocritical.  
    The funny part is that the letter says that the ex-wife doesn't like organized religion.  And yet SHE'S the one being hypocritical.  Ugh.

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