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What It Means To Be A Missionary Kid?
Uphill And Caves
Being a missionary kid definitely means living a life away from the changing trends of the world. To me personally, it was an identity I never wanted to associate myself with for the longest time.
But over the past few years I've realized that being raised as a missionary child is what made me ‘me’.
To start with, we've had a tough life. Some have gone through some really challenging situations. But that's not all of our stories. Many of us have decent lifestyles blessed with rich experiences of varied cultures. But what stands true to all is that we witness men and women take decisions of utmost faith.
For instance, the money comes to you maybe an hour before you need to pay your fee, or you have no idea if the next meal is a treat or a sad piece of bread. Yes, life is inconsistent.
For many years I've wondered why I was born to parents who've decided to give their all for the kingdom of God. They were called to do so, but what was it for me?
Only recently did I realize that being a child of a missionary is a special calling as well. Unlike our parents, we were born into such a life - to be trained to live by faith, to know that all the world will fail us, the dreams, the relationships close to our hearts, and through all the inconsistencies, God is just making us better disciples. Then comes a time we fight to get out of the present scenario to start living like normal people who make money... till we realize it's all perishable.
If You are One Among the MKs, do these Ring a Bell?
- You don't rely on materialism because you've been raised with little. Instead, it was those memories when you sat around the dinner table discussing God's goodness with empty pockets that will last.
- When a job comes your way, you realize what your parents did was of a greater calling. To me it meant quitting everything I dreamt of doing and taking a similar path that does not give me the money. It means I have to pray for money to drop in to do my further studies, it means I’m not sure what career growth looks like and a lot more challenging but sweeter experiences with my God.
- Life has been very different growing up that getting along with people is very difficult. But when you make friends, you make real life friends, and most of them are other missionary children as well. (And the best part is most MKs get married to other missionaries or MKs.)
- When you meet another missionary kid, you meet your clan. You feel connected and realise that there are many more like you - life is tough for no choice of yours but so packed with rich experiences.
- Some of you are lucky to be part of a community. This is mostly the children raised in seminaries or Bible colleges or Christian based organizations, or Community based mission work. Now the other extreme is when missionary kids whose parents have decided to move to a completely new place, a new culture and more. Sometimes, you are out there all by yourself, but you've been reminded that God is just making you a stronger person.
There are times when the blessings are beyond measure but then there are those tough days when you don't know why God has decided not to provide. When you almost get grumpy, the missionary at home reminds you of all the amazing things God has given us.
- You have a special sense of music since you’ve been quite active in church choir. Also, you are raised listening to old hymns since your parents have embraced the age old hymns, especially during family prayer.
The MK Identity
It's an identity that can't go away. It made me able to live through tough times and look at challenges and say "this too shall pass".
There are many more experiences to come, but since life has always been bitter sweet, I know I'll get through it with the help of God who called me to be where I am.