Posts Tagged ‘Growing Up as a Missionary Kid’

Missionary Kid: How I Learned to Say Goodbye

Monday, January 29th, 2018

missionary-kid-book

I have to admit that John Haines’ book about being a missionary kid is better than mine, so if you’re only going to buy one, buy his. Many of you have read mine, which was written from the point of view of a child. His point of view is of an adult looking back with nostalgia and wistfulness at what once was. I like the processing that he went through in a humorous, stream-of-consciousness style. If I ever re-write my own book, I will stop and philosophize from time to time like he did. The memoir of his life made me laugh and cry as I relived my own experiences.

I hadn’t even finished the prologue when I got a lump in my throat and wanted to cry.  It seems that we MK’s have explosively deep emotions that are buried out of sight like land mines. In the book, his land mine was set off by seeing a Moroccan woman who looked so much like his maid/nanny when he was young. It was like he imprinted on her like a mother figure, and then when he moved away from Morocco and hadn’t seen her for decades, he went back as an adult, and the familiar face triggered all the childhood memories. This set off an overwhelming sensation, almost as if he was re-united with his mother for the first time in years.

So I knew by page 4 that I was going to enjoy doing this review, which I agreed to do for compensation. It was the most emotionally satisfying review I’ve done. I wrote notes all over the margins as I pondered why I felt a certain way about what the author was saying (whether grief, laughter, empathy, or whatever emotion was evoked).

The personality (or voice) behind the writing had a detached bluntness and humor combined with the friendliness of a tour guide telling someone the way things are for missionary kids. This is not a religious book, and it is written to believers, unbelievers, and what he calls “innocent ones.” Each category is sometimes addressed separately. The “innocent ones” are not Christians, but they are not against Christians either, so they are taking in the story as impartial recipients.

The author is blunt about everything he experienced as a missionary kid, so I believe that MK’s especially will love the book because he says things with shocking honesty that we would never dare say at the time we were on the mission field.

There was so much MK humor in the book. For example, he mentions “lists of three being a feature of the sermons I grew up on,” and “What better home for an uprooted missionary kid than a boarding school full of missionary kids?” That second quote is from the chapter describing his interesting boarding school experiences.

Many pearls of MK wisdom were tossed out at us throughout the book. Here’s one: “Wandering like the Children of Israel in a land that was not ours, we never got to stop and savor one of life’s most priceless commodities: friends.” As you can see, he uses the language of someone who grew up with what I call church language, and he says things that are profound in a boy-next-door kind of way. The topic itself has poignancy because we constantly had to say good-bye to our friends. Hence the title: Missionary Kid: How I Learned to Say Goodbye.

The book ended in a satisfying way as he returned to the lands of his childhood. I believe that every missionary kid should go back to their motherland at some point in their adult lives to be able to come full circle and heal from all the unresolved grief of having to say good-bye so much in our lives. Last year I did just that, and I felt a sense of completion. I too felt that I had finally come home.

To grab a copy of the book, click here.

My Most Popular MK Memes and Pins

Monday, January 1st, 2018

popular-mk-memes

Having grown up as a missionary kid and written a book about it, I decided to start a Facebook page that would resonate with missionary kids. If you’re an MK or enjoy reading about MK’s, you will love our community over there. I post original MK memes, videos from my recent trip back to Guatemala where I grew up, blog posts I’ve written about being an MK, poignant blog posts from other sites that apply to MK’s, news that would interest MK’s, travel stuff, humor, etc. Come join us by liking our page!

Top 10 Popular MK Memes on Facebook:

So far I’ve created 86 original MK memes. These are the 10 most popular, in case you missed them. I’ve linked to the actual FB post after each meme {in brackets}, in case you want to share the meme to your friends and family, to reminisce and sigh and re-live the good old times:

1. Furlough: a fake vacation where you drive all over kingdom come, only stopping to visit churches and have your cheeks pinched. (“Look how much you’ve grown.”) {FB} 199 likes, 181 shares

furlough-is-a-fake-vacation

2. You know you’re an MK when singing in front of an audience was not optional, even if you were mortified… {FB} 157 likes, 32 shares

singing-mks

3. You know you’re an MK when you’ve heard the same furlough sermon over and over. {FB} 94 likes, 32 shares

same-sermon-over-and-over

4. You know you’re an MK when this looks normal. {FB} 70 likes, 66 shares

this-looks-normal

5. You know you’re an MK when you hesitate before drinking tap water. {FB} 68 likes, 15 shares

hesitate-drinking-tap-water

6. You know you’re an MK when you spread out American food like it’s contraband. {FB} 63 likes, 27 shares

contraband

7. You know you’re an MK when you will never see your childhood home again… (Hey, when I wrote this meme, I believed it, but guess what? I saw my childhood home last summer and filmed it! Watch it here.) {FB} 61 likes 20 shares

never-see-home-again

8. You know you’re an MK when you can pack all of your belongings into two checked bags and a carry-on. {FB} 60 likes, 11 shares

packing-bags

9. You know you’re an MK when you see your family picture hanging on someone’s refrigerator. {FB} 56 likes, 14 shares

prayer-postcard

10. You know you’re an MK when you long for the beauty of another world. {FB} 51 likes, 2 shares

beauty-of-another-world

My first MK meme ever: Missionary Kid Bat Mobile (aka furlough car) {FB} 47 likes, 12 shares

mk-bat-mobile

My 10 Most-Pinned MK Posts:

1.2K pins = You know you’re an MK when you hesitate before drinking tap water. {pin}

709 pins = You know you’re an MK when this looks normal. (bus packed with people) {pin}

144 pins = You know you’re an MK when open markets remind you of home. {pin}

open-markets

133 pins = Furlough: a fake vacation where you drive all over kingdom come, only stopping to visit churches and have your cheeks pinched. (“Look how much you’ve grown.”) {pin}

109 pins = You know you’re an MK when the maid was a part of your family. {pin}

maid

106 pins = You know you’re an MK when your thoughts are not the same as a typical American. {pin}

not-a-typical-american

95 pins = You know you’re an MK when you’re homesick for a place you will probably never see again. {pin}

homesick

94 pins = You know you’re an MK when you long for the beauty of another world. {pin}

93 pins = You know you’re an MK when singing in front of an audience was not optional, even if you were mortified… {pin}

91 pins = Missionary kids have to be perfect (blog post) {pin}

If you would like to follow my MK board on Pinterest, click here.

To watch the video playlist on YouTube of our Guatemala Adventure, click here.

Buy the book here.

 

The Sin of Boredom: MK Perspective

Friday, November 11th, 2016

the-sin-of-boredom

Having grown up in a third world country, I have seen true poverty. In Guatemala, people who were finished with their chores would sit outdoors and contemplate life. They were not stressed out, even though they were poor. They didn’t feel that they had to be doing something every second in order to be happy.

In America, there are so many options for continuous entertainment. Most Americans become angry if they don’t have the extra money to do everything their heart desires. They lash out at the people around them that they are miserable, even though they have already spent lots of money on entertainment.

The sin of boredom is truly ugly. It reveals a heart of self-centeredness. Instead of asking God who to minister to at that moment (either by phone or in real life), they think only about themselves. They lack love. Love seeks the good of others above oneself. The majority of Americans have no love. As Jesus tells us about these end times in Matthew 24:12, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.”

We are commanded to be different from the world. First John 2:15 says, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” What a cold statement! The love of the Father is NOT in the man who loves the things of the world.

Even the fluff entertainment (that might not be sin in and of itself), when indulged to excess the way that Americans do, leads to tens of thousands of squandered hours. We will stand before God and give an account of our time. We will be ashamed. We will wish we had the time back to glorify God rather than indulge our flesh.

But very little of today’s entertainment is harmless. It causes us to indulge in sins of the mind, which lead to sins of action. As a whole, American Christians don’t even have a conscience any more. No only do they indulge in wickedness, but they feel entitled to self-pamper their greed every waking moment.

When the Israelites in the wilderness were “bored” with the manna that God miraculously provided, God sent quail for meat, and God struck dead the people who were bored, wanting more variety in their life. This is how God feels about boredom. It’s inextricably related to ungratefulness. God had supernaturally provided for all their needs, and they slapped God in the face because they DEMANDED more variety. They were angry that God did not give them more variety. They were ready to go back into slavery in Egypt rather than “put up” with God’s provision. What rotten people! No wonder God struck them dead!

Yet we are WORSE in this nation. God has given us more riches than any preceding time in history, and instead of being fully satisfied with our manna from God, we slap God in the face and demand to be self-pampered with whatever we can think of. If we can think it up, we should be able to do it without hindrance. How dare God say that we can’t do whatever we feel like doing?

God, have mercy on our nation where we say, “Have fun,” every time someone leaves the house to go out, as if the goal of life is having fun. Instead we should say, “Find ways to glorify God while you’re out.” Are we actually Christians, or do we indulge our flesh to the same level as the world?

This is the second in a series of “Indictments Against the Sins of America.”

  1. The Sin of Entitlement
  2. The Sin of Boredom (this post)
  3. The Sin of Lust

To keep up with my MK posts, like my MK page and subscribe to my blog.

The Sin of Entitlement: MK Perspective

Friday, November 4th, 2016

the-sin-of-entitlement

When we believe that we deserve something that we have not earned or worked for, we have the sin of entitlement. Having grown up as a missionary kid in a third world country, entitlement is one of the worst qualities I’ve seen in Americans. This sin is truly ugly and selfish. It’s strange that people feel so entitled in such a rich country.

I have seen my Guatemalan friends in houses with dirt floors, completely at peace. They don’t have a bratty, angry attitude like Americans do about deserving better… that their condition is somehow someone else’s fault.

People in third world countries who are in true poverty know that they are not entitled to anything. They try to find some clean water to drink and to produce enough food in their field not to starve.

So many Americans want “free” handouts from the government, not realizing that all government money comes from taxes—the sweat and tears of the common people. By demanding more goods without working for them, they are forcing the middle class into poverty. Higher taxes mean less money to pay bills for normal people who are working.

Americans demand rights that God never gave them. No one deserves anything. You should get what you earn. The only thing you deserve is what you work for.

The richest nation on earth is the most miserable—with a huge proportion of its population on pharmaceudical drugs. Yes, people are so miserable because of their bratty attitudes where they think that if they don’t have a perfect house, a perfect marriage, and perfect kids without putting in continuous work, they need mood-altering drugs to put up with their misery.

Entitled people are often bored with their lives. All bored people are sinning. They are not walking by the Spirit. There is always something God wants you to be doing in any given situation, and He will empower you to do it and give you joy in ministering to others. Boredom indicates that you feel that you are entitled to a continuous variety of entertainment, otherwise you will snap at the people around you.

I’m fed up with this attitude.

A sense of entitlement is sin. Pay for your own goods and services. Stop demanding that other people sweat and break their backs to provide for your entertainment and gluttony. I see people who say they are poor but own a cell phone. This is not a necessity. Nope. If you have $100 a month for a cell phone, I will not give you a single penny for your basic bills because you are a squanderer. If you’ve paid all your bills and you are not mooching off others, you are allowed to get a cell phone. You are not entitled to the luxury of a cell phone if you are not able to pay your basic bills.

You are responsible for your own bills. Other people should not have to pay your bills. Scripture says if you don’t work, neither shall you eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10). And if you are frugal and still have bills, ask God, and He will provide. God is not a liar. James 4:2-3 says that we have not because we ask not, and the reason we ask is to self-pamper and spend our money on our own lusts (including gluttony, which is eating out all the time because we are bratty about “boring homemade food.”) God will not provide monetarily for brats who have been unfaithful with the money He has already provided.

Let’s repent of our national sin of entitlement. Let’s work and pay our own bills. Let’s not expect to go on vacations and eat out and be constantly entertained. Take back your life for the Lord, and live for Him. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)

This is the first in a series of “Indictments Against the Sins of America.”

  1. The Sin of Entitlement (this post)
  2. The Sin of Boredom
  3. The Sin of Lust

To keep up with my MK posts, like my MK page and subscribe to my blog.

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