An MK is Always Home

“Where are you from?” is a question MKs tend to dread. They dread it not because there is not an answer, but because the answer is complicated. Often, the question assumes a simple answer – I’m from Canada… …. I’m from the US. But the MK has to deal with details such as their birth country, the country in which they spent their childhood, where most of their family lives, the two countries from which their international parents hail (or more if one or both parents are themselves MKs!), the country where they grew up, where they are currently residing, and even which is their favorite. At the school where my wife and I are teaching, I developed a form of this question which results in students eagerly wanting to share, rather than trying to avoid it. The question is – “where have you been?” I further explain to the class that the question is intended to allow them to give any one, or more, of the above responses. The entirety of their journey does not need to be recounted. Their identity will not be cemented based on a response of simply one country. Where have you been? Typically, the students will happily recount several places they’ve been, along with a good memory about that place. This is in stark contrast to how it usually goes when the question is, “Where are you from?” Some of them struggle to provide an answer if they’ve moved around a lot. However, the MKs who seem most at ease answering are the students whose response is, essentially, “I’ve been beside Jesus. That’s where I’ve been all this time.” The phrasing from Luke18:16 reads – But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” So, how does an MK come to this awareness, or conclusion? The answer to that often lies in the mindset, and heart-set, of their parents and mission agency. It boils down to this. When an MK is involved in discussions, conversations, and preparations to go to some country or people, they should hear the name of Jesus. If the reason is anything other than “Jesus”, none of it makes sense. This leads to confusion, to disassociation, to being anchorless and purposeless. But when a missionary parent can say, “Jesus is calling us there”, “Jesus will supply our needs”, “Jesus solved our visa problem, kids!”, “We are following Jesus, trying to share news about him to those who want to hear it, and need to hear it”, it allows the MK to place themselves in a sphere of activity and existence that is dependent on Jesus. And as they grow older, and the conversations go deeper, it then helps them understand and deal with experiences they’ve had as a child. They realize that yes, they have in fact been beside Jesus, called to his side just as he spoke in Luke 18:16. And since we will be with Jesus in heaven, ultimately, the MK understands that yes, they have been home all this time.

Shane Cooke

Scroll to Top