As a former MK, I can testify that this is one way that you can be a huge blessing to a missionary family. Missionaries have limited budgets, and the money they get is frequently allocated to ministry needs and not so much towards things they want. Many missionary kids don’t have the same resources as the kids living in the United States.
Here are some practical ways to bless a missionary kid when they are back in the United States:
- Give them a gift. You can send one through the mail or buy them one when they are back in the United States.
- Give them some spending money. They probably have a list (or at least a few things) that they’d really like, but can’t afford.
- Take them out to eat. Listen to them, and get to know them personally.
- Encourage your kids to include them in parties, youth events, etc.
- Ask them on a play date if they are young.
- Offer to attend Sunday School or youth group with them. It is very intimidating to walk into a big group of kids and be the new, “weird” missionary kid. Even if they are back at their “home church”, it won’t be home for them and they will be uncomfortable. If they know you, you can help ease this transition.
- Sponsor them so they are able to go to a church camp.
- Host them if their parents are out of the country and they do not have a place to stay.
- Write a letter of recommendation for them if they are trying to obtain scholarships for college. (This requires for you to know them.)
- Buy them a gift when they graduate from high school.
- Throw them a “Going to College” shower. They may only have 1-2 suitcases of clothes to head to college, and the needs may be great. You can help provide sheets, pillows, a desk lamp, fan, school supplies, etc. This can be a surprise or you can ask the family what the MK’s specific needs are. You could even provide a gift card shower so the MK and their parents can go shopping and get what they need.
I was blessed to have people do several of the above things for me. I had a “Going to College” shower that was a huge blessing, both to me and my parents. My parents wanted to provide for all the things I might need before they left me and drove thousands of miles away, but they did not have the budget for it. Our local church sponsored a shower for me, and I was able to go to the dorm with all of the basics that I would need for my freshman year. It was a huge relief!
I also had a few people that gave me money over the years to spend on things I might want or need. One man wrote a letter of recommendation to help me get a scholarship for college. One sweet lady took me out to lunch (by myself) several times. Our family knew her, and approved, of course. It made me feel very special that she would invest time in me!
I hope you have been inspired to think outside the box today! How can you bless a Missionary Kid? Let me know if you have other ideas!