I need to make a confession.
I hate the term "missionary kid" or "MK's." You will never hear me or my girlfriend use those words.
I hear them all the time and it absolutely drives me up the wall. I have always hated those words.
Why? Because, to me, they can (subconsciously or not) make kids feel like their parents are the "chosen ones" that were called to do mission work. That they aren't really missionaries but are the kids of the missionaries.
I hear those words a lot and I just don't like them. We've visited colleges that have programs just for "missionary kids." A gathering of kids who grew up in foreign countries as missionaries. Those words seem to be commonly used by many people to describe our kids.
That being said, I know that I haven't met anyone else who has this problem with those words. This is my thing. I get it.
We have many good friends who use those words and I know they don't feel that their kids or our kids are not missionaries.
I've met the leaders of those "MK" college programs. I confess I went in with a skewed view of what those groups are about. The last thing we or our girls want as they look at colleges is to be in an isolated "MK" bubble on campus. We want them to enjoy college and not feel like they are any different from anyone else just because they grew up in another country. I know they are different and will have some different views and takes on things versus an American kid, but I also don't think it's healthy for them to be running to the safety of a "MK" bubble whenever there is a problem. I've seen a lot of the "bubble" mentality and I (we) don't want that. After I met with these leaders I felt better about what they were doing.
Again, I know these feelings are just that......my feelings. I just know I don't want my kids being called missionary kids or MK's. I have seen people using those words and using them in the context of my dislike.
Where am I going with all of this?
I want our kids to know that they are missionaries also. We are raising our kids to remember that Jesus told all of us to be missionaries. Not just the people that go to another country and receive support from other Christians to share about Jesus.
The world also needs people to believe that wherever God has put them, (fry cook at McDonalds, garbage man, president of a big company, little league coach, school teacher, nurse, etc.) He put them there for a reason. He put them there to share the love of Christ.
We are all his missionaries. Wherever we are and whatever we do. Those are our mission fields.
There have been a few people who have come to have a relationship with Christ, since we've been in Brasil, that only had that opportunity because of our kids.
Our kids played soccer together, our kids went to school together, our kids met at an English party, etc. God can and has consistently used whatever means to open doors to begin showing His love to His people here in Porto Alegre.
God has and continues to use our kids in a mighty way here in Brasil. We let them know that. They have a calling to be Christ to their friends right now.
I'm proud of all of our kids. They understand what "being Christ" means. It's not always easy. They have lots of temptations here. Many people claim to know Jesus but don't live their lives for Him. We encourage our kids to just listen to the Spirit and do what He says in regards to their friends. God has opened up the doors a little bit in conversations that our kids have had with their friends.
Honestly the thought process of this blog post today was started with a conversation I had with Anderson last night in the kitchen.
The other day he asked if we could invite his school teacher, at his new school, to come over and play one day. I told him we could absolutely ask her to come and play but that she might not be able to because she is a teacher and might not have time, etc. He was okay with that.
Last night he told me that his teacher was not a Christian. I asked him how he knew that. Did he ask her? He said he did and then he said, "Well, I guess I need to start telling her how much Jesus loves her don't I?"
You guys know Anderson. Whether this 5 year old actually had this conversation with his teacher is up in the air. I actually would not be surprised if he asked her this but I don't know for sure. That's not really the point for me. The point for me is that our 5 year old is already wanting to share the love of Christ with someone who is really important in his life. His mind is already thinking in terms of being a missionary. He is sharing Christ where God has put him.
That is a pretty simple response to what God has asked each of us to do. Just do it.
We are all missionaries. There are no missionary kids.