One of the things we like to do is share our ministry with groups. Sunday school classes, home groups, random people pulled off the street, we like them all. Actually, sharing with a small group is probably how we communicate most effectively, because there’s some structure to our time, but it’s also casual and personal. But that’s besides the point.
During one of these presentations, I realized that I’d verbalized our mission statement. I didn’t really know we had a mission statement. I mean, I probably could have pulled some words together to somehow express our love and care for TCKS, but now I know what our mission is. I’ve probably even said some variation of this in the past, perhaps even this exact phrase, but this time, it stuck. And the tiny lightbulb in my head went off.
Our mission is to help missionary kids know that Jesus loves them too.
From my conversations with MKs over the past two years, I would say that most MKs struggle with fear, loneliness, and feeling like God loves everyone else, but not them. These kids’ families have been called to far-away countries. Their parents have been called to share the love of Jesus with specific people groups. Their lives have been uprooted, possessions sold, friends left, familiar languages abandoned, all in the name of Jesus.
MKs spend their lives supporting their parents’ lives. They know how to perform well. They know how to act the part which they are required to play. They have to travel around America, visit countless churches, and talk to people they don’t know, in order to raise money to get back to the place where Jesus wants them.
Now, don’t get me wrong, for the most part, MKs love their lives. They grow to love the countries where they live. They learn to speak the language more fluently than their parents. They go to school, have friends, and enjoy the food of the countries where they serve. Most of them wouldn’t trade these experiences, but these aren’t things they chose; Jesus called, and their parents answered.
Many MKs feel like a burden to their parents. Often, these missionary families are under incredible stress. In addition to ministry concerns, support raising, and the difficulties of living in another country, missionaries are not always safe. Sometimes, they’re in danger of being kicked out of the country. Sometimes, their houses are bugged. Sometimes, their very lives are in danger. Missionary kids know this. They see the stress their parents feel. They feel their parents’ burdens. So they don’t add to the burden. MKs often keep their hurts, struggles and thoughts to themselves, because if they tell their parents, they think they’ll just make things worse. As a result, many things which should be spoken, which missionary parents wish would be spoken, stay in secret.
So the thought that God cares for the world, but not for them, grows, gains significance, and takes up residence in the hearts and minds of these teenagers. It seems that God doesn’t care about their lives. It seems that God sacrifices them for the sake of everyone else. It seems that God sends someone to the entire world, but has forgotten them.
But we have a mission.
We want to help missionary kids know that Jesus loves them too.
God has sent us. God has sent us to Black Forest Academy. God has sent us to Germany. God has sent us to missionary kids, to help them believe that, yes, Jesus loves you.
You are not forgotten. You are not alone. You are valuable and loved and cared for. Jesus delights in you, little soul that you are. He knows you. He works on your behalf. We have left our families, we have left our lives, we have left our possessions, so that you would know He cares.
And BFA students, if you’re reading this, I’m talking about you.
We have a mission, it’s to share the love of Jesus with missionary kids, who know of Jesus, but don’t always know that his great plan of salvation and love includes them. It does.