You might think that being a Missionary Kid (or MK) would only strengthen your faith in God. Well let me tell you my (rather long) story.
When I was ten I went mission trip. It was a two week short-term mission trip specially designed for families to have a taste of what’s it’s like to be a missionary and I loved it. We went to a place in rural Uganda and spent time in hospitals, schools, helping building projects and it all ended with a gorgeous trip to a safari park. When we got back my parents kept asking me and my sister if we liked it, whether we’d want to do something like that again and we said yes to both those answers. My sister and I both started to get a little suspicious because our parents asked many questions about how much we liked it and then over the next few months were quite secretive.
Eight months later they dropped the bomb on us. The said we might be moving to South Africa to be missionaries.
For me there were two things wrong with that. I was (and still am but not as much) a person who hated change. I had my whole life planned out: finish year 6 at my primary school, go to the high school my sister was at and study music, drama, food tech and triple science, go to the local sixth form college and study similar things, go to uni to study music, become a music teacher. That was exactly what I wanted to do with my life and I didn’t want anything messing with that. Me and change did not get along. Also there was a five letter word that my parents said that I also didn’t get along with: Might. Another thing I didn’t (and still don’t) get along with was uncertainty. The fact that we could be moving but we also could be staying where we were. Throw in the fact that I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone because it wasn’t definite and you had my worst nightmare.
From April to December I tried to ignore it, pretend that it wasn’t happening. I lived perfectly normally until Christmas when my grandparents and other relatives asked about it. Then my parents said to them about the meeting with the head of the missionary office that we were potentially going to work with, they said it was an 80% chance that we were moving.
Four months later it was definite – we were moving and we now had to go to orientation for five days.
I won’t go into much detail about orientation as I don’t want this to be too long. All I’ll say is that it really didn’t help me feel more positive about moving and becoming a missionary kid. The kids program was aimed at slightly younger children than me and my sister was being a grumpy teenager. We did have some fun because there was a wood near the place of orientation and six kids can have fun with that.
The orientation was in April and our goal was to move in September. My sister and I would finish the school year, have the summer holidays to say goodbye to everyone. It didn’t work like that. Due to circumstances and visa problems, we didn’t move until December.
Sometimes the worst thing in the world is saying goodbye. People tried to sugarcoat it by saying ‘see you soon’ and things like that but it didn’t work on me. I knew it would be years until I saw my friends again and it killed me from the inside out.
Because South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere their summer holidays start in December and lucky us we landed on the exact day the summer holidays started. So I spent six weeks not having any friends. Of course mum and dad took us to churches but something wasn’t right. They weren’t the church I left where everyone was like one big family and I had five best friends, they were unfriendly and all the kids were either too young or too old. I sank into depression and just felt awful the whole time to the point where I nearly attempted suicide. I developed three alter egos to help cope and to this day I honestly don’t know which is the real me any more. I’ve started striving for perfection, eating less and less each day, working out more, perfecting my music and academics. My parents loved it though. They started their missionary work straight away and I realized that it wasn’t going to be like Uganda. I would have no part in the missionary business. When I started school it was slightly better. I made friends and cheered up slightly, even participating in the school musical.
During this whole time I pushed someone away who I really should have held closer: God. I blamed him for this – for my depression and suicidalness. I felt like it was all his fault and wanted nothing to do with him. During church I would daydream and ignore what they were saying, thinking it had no relevance to me anymore. After many months of this attitude I slowly managed to get back on God’s track although it’s not easy. Everyday I slip up by muttering one swear word or thinking one wrong thing but I’m slowly getting there.
I don’t know what I’m trying to achieve from this post. I’m hoping that it might help someone in some way by just reminding you that if you are going through hard times it is God’s plan. Don’t rebel from him, hold him closer. I have to constantly keep reminding myself that it’s God’s plan for me to be here so I need to try and enjoy and learn from it but if someone offered me a plane ticket back home; I’d take it instantly.
|September 23, 2015 at 12:32|
A www… I pray things get better for you in Jesus’ name. Thanks for sharing 🙂
|December 7, 2015 at 19:47|
I was an MK, too, but my family went to Zambia when I was born, so the worst part for me was going back to Germany (yes, I´m German) 4.5 years ago. But even that wasn´t as bad as it could have been, thankfully! Coming to think of it, my story is quite the opposite from yours: From an (ashamed to say it) boring church to an inspiring, big family. From a life with one (best) friend to one with a gradually growing number of friends. From foreign country to my native country. On the other hand, through the change, I´ve also grown closer to Jesus and now have a real relationship with him.
And I want to encourage you to really stay close to Him, just as you said! And always remember that His ways really are the best, even though it may not seem that way.
God bless you!
|March 22, 2016 at 10:03|
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