When you hear “Missionary Kid” you may think of: Awkward, sibling of many, matching clothes, curtain kids (my husband’s invention), cheesy prayer card pic, or just a tad different.
As much as I would like for these stereotypes to not exists, they do. The glances at the new kid walking into Sunday school, the little girls talking about the strange missionary girl in the bathroom stall next to the missionary mom, the awkward moments of welcoming the MK back to America after years of foreign culture… those exist as well.
Yet really: they are just kids: sweet, resilient, quiet yet talkative, amazing yet different kids. How can a kid’s life be amazing but different?
In America: they get to travel all over and meet some awesome Christians. They are spoiled and given to sacrificially by those they meet. They visit some very interesting places,
and meet some other pretty amazing friends along the way.
On their Foreign Field: They will meet some amazing people and see first hand how Christ can transform someone’s life. They will see places other American children only learn about in their Geography books.
The adventures can be endless.
They get first hand lessons on how much they truly have and the difficulties they face are but minimal, a lesson every child could benefit from..
Amazing indeed yet
In America: They are usually home-schooled in the car, hotel, prophets chamber or anywhere in between.
The friends they instantly make on the road soon disappear. Easter brunches with Grandmom must be missed. Home as they knew it quickly disappears.
On their Foreign Field: They must adapt to a new culture, often learn a new language. The first year or so they may not understand church at all.
They miss their grandparents, family, and friends everyday, as awesome as skype is, it can’t replace their embrace.
They will see their youth class promote cool events on facebook yet know it will be years before they will attend and those that promised to stay in touch will eventually fade.
Their life is amazing yet different.
I often think about my children, I often wonder how their current situation is affecting them. I wonder if the things they are missing may tug at them a little more then I realize. But after thinking and praying I watch my kids and realize one thing… they are just kids. At times, my kids struggle in school… so do yours. At times, my kids have an attitude…. so do yours. At times they have a blast playing sports…. so do yours. At times they make me so proud… so do yours. At times they scare me……. so do yours. As a parent of just a kid my responsibility is huge, I have read many books and spent much time in prayer, as I’m sure most christian parents do.
Yesterday our Easter Service was amazing but different. Sure we passed cows along the way, we met in a partially built building with no electricity, water or even toilets. We had to wipe off seats 6 times only to have them covered in dust seconds later.
It was definitely the most different Easter service we have ever been to. But it was amazing watching my children so excited about our new church. Watching them prepare their Sunday school and anxiously waiting for children to come.
Don’t feel sorry for missionary kids, don’t let your children be the reason you don’t surrender to missions. Serving Christ is one of the most amazing things you can do and my kids get to do it at an early age.
Sure there are things you can do to help with the differences: Pray for them, don’t judge so quick when a MK says Ya instead of Yes mam (that is just the way they say it in some places). Attempt to stay in touch, help keep them connected to kids from America. Include them in your children’s activities and bible studies. But don’t feel sorry for them….
God has given them a different yet Amazing life.
Proud mom of 5 MKs,