You might be thinking, “Didn’t we already have a post on praying for a missionary?”. And yes, we did. If you’d like to read it, you can go here.
But praying for a missionary’s kids can need a little bit of a different focus. So, today we are going to talk about specific prayer needs for missionary kids.
- Adjustment to new situations – Missionary kids are exposed to many new situations, both in their host country abroad and when they come back to their passport country. Some adjust very easily, but some struggle with each change. Prayer for easy transitions is important.
- Language acquisition – Some languages are easy to pick up and learn, while others are very difficult. Some children learn languages quickly, while others seem to struggle. Younger children tend to pick up languages more easily and also seem to have a better “local” accent. Pray that they learn the language quickly.
- Salvation – This should be the most important thing that we pray for…and the most important for the missionary parents.
- Health – We need to pray for general medical health. They need protection from illnesses and injuries. Many children also have learning or physical disabilities, and we should pray that God would provide the appropriate medical care, therapies, and help for their them and their parents.
- Safety – This kind of ties into the health request, but missionary kids can be exposed to many different safety hazards. They may travel more often than other kids. There may be people around them that are against Americans or jealous of their family and would like to harm them. There may be wild animals like hippos, spiders, etc. that could cause them harm. They may live in a village with difficult terrain that makes them more prone to broken bones and falls.
- Schooling – Choosing how to educate their children is one of the biggest decisions that a missionary family will make. They may choose to homeschool, attend a local school, or send their child to a boarding school. Each of these choices will require a different way of praying, but we also should pray that the child is able to learn well in any circumstance.
- Friendships – Missionary kids need prayer to make friends, but not just any friends…the right friends. When they are little, they need good friends to play with. As they get older, they need friends that will not influence them wrongly. We should pray that they do not choose to follow pagan or evil local practices. We should pray that their friends would help their faith grow.
Here is a link with a great article (with scriptures) for you to pray for your own children as well as missionary kids that you know. Click here to read it.
Let your missionary know what you are praying for their kids!
Have you been waiting and wishing you could afford to get some books for your kids for Christmas? Wait no more!
Here is a super HOT deal on books from Amazon! You can get $10 off of a $25 purchase of books…this means that you can get 2 Missionary Kid Stories books for $12.45 each (shipped free if you are a prime member)!
Use code HOLIDAYBOOK when you check out, and happy reading!
(Valid through November 29, 2016 at 02:59am EST)
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!
There are lots of benefits of being a Missionary Kid (MK), and each MK could probably give you their own opinion of what those benefits are. I could probably come up with a huge list (some funny and some serious). One day I’ll have to do another blog post with a long list. For now, I’m going to tell you four big benefits of being an MK.
Getting to travel is one advantage to being a missionary kid. If you like to visit different countries, sample different types of food, and see exotic places, this is the life for you! Some missionaries have to travel for several days to even arrive at the place where they will live. Some visit different countries due to the type of work they do, and some travel extensively within the country where they serve.
Learning Other Languages
Most MK’s speak, or are learning, at least one other language besides their mother tongue. Some speak 4 or 5 languages. This will greatly depend on the country where they live and amount of languages they are exposed to. It will also depend on each kid’s ability to assimilate a new language. Let’s face it…some people pick up language much more quickly than others. Kids tend to learn very quickly and can have a native accent. Sometimes, people may not realize that the MK’s are foreigners because they speak so well in the language of the country where they live.
Meeting New People
This is great if you are an extrovert! Missionaries are constantly meeting new people, whether this is in the country where they work, or back in the United States while traveling to tell about their ministry. An MK will meet tons of new adults and children and will learn how to establish a connection with new people in a short amount of time.
Adapting to New Situations
MK’s are some of the most resilient people. They spend a lot of time learning to adapt to new situations, and they become very good at it. They can usually quickly identify how to act in order to fit in, and may be viewed as reserved at first. This stems from the need to assess a new situation and decide what behavior is expected.
Obviously, there are many more benefits that could be put on a list, but these are some of the main ones. Feel free to comment with your own ideas and opinions. What are some other benefits?