Many of us recognize the need to pray for missionaries, but I’m not sure we give sufficient attention to praying for missionary kids (now often known as “Third Culture Kids”). Here’s why we must correct that omission:
- They’re learning faith at the feet of obedient parents. I’ve watched parents with infants in arms make plans to go to risky places for the sake of the gospel. Those MK’s are living faith from the beginning, and I want them to gain that own faith for themselves.
- They’re learning to love all people. They love across race and linguistic lines, seeing others as simply their friends. We need more Christian people like that.
- They, too, need to follow Jesus. Even as their family lives to evangelize others and plant new churches, MK’s are also lost until they follow Jesus in faith and repentance. They, too, need God’s grace.
- They’re some of the friendliest, warmest kids I know. They’re learning how to adjust to different places and different people, and they’re often comfortable in those scenarios. I don’t want them to lose that heart.
- They’re growing up bi-lingually. Especially as the world gets both smaller and more diverse, those who speak more than one language will be more equipped to do the work of the gospel in future generations.
- Their families are often serving in tough places. Kids are resilient, but the world is a dangerous place. We need to pray for faith in the midst of risk.
- They’re frequently unashamedly evangelistic. They grow up knowing their role is to tell others about Jesus. Sometimes they struggle maintaining that passion over the years, but they have the right foundation.
- They’re blessed with an extended family – and all that comes with that. MK’s uniquely have aunts and uncles around the world, as missionaries genuinely become family. Families squabble sometimes, though, so MK’s see that side of it as well.
- They face cross-cultural issues themselves. Some MK’s who go to the field in their late elementary or early teen years struggle with their new culture. Others wrestle more with American culture if they return here for their college education.
- They sometimes face temptations that are uniquely ferocious. If you think temptation and sin are blatant in American culture, travel to other parts of the world. I would not want to be a teenage MK in regions where temptation—particularly sexual temptation—is “in your face.”
- They’re the next generation of gospel witnesses. Whether God calls them to North America or to the world, they have the background to help fulfill the Great Commission in their generation.
Cross-cultural workers or MK’s, what would you add to this list? Pastors, what are you doing to lead your church in this direction?