Outreach to Missionary Kids through Member Health Ministries
During their developmental years alone, missionary kids may experience more transition than many people do during their lifetimes. MKs frequently build relationships to all of the cultures they live in and around while not having full ownership in any. Instead, MKs find themselves caught “between two worlds,” according to WGM missionary Mike Banks. Goodbyes are a regular part of MKs’ lives, and many relationships they form tend to be transient.
This constant transition creates a unique set of needs for MKs. World Gospel Mission has formed an outreach program to MKs and their families in an effort to address these needs and help MKs walk through different life circumstances. Seminars, conferences, and camps speak into the needs of MKs at different stages of their lives. Each summer, WGM holds an MK camp for children ages 8 through 18. Seminars help college-age MKs make a smoother re-entry into the United States. Missionaries also visit MKs on college campuses regularly and partner with organizations like MuKappa, a student group for MKs. Retreats, like Snow Camp, give MKs an outlet to be themselves and process together difficult topics, including the question of “where is home.” These opportunities to lean on each other is healing for MKs.
Ministry to MKs is a fairly recent outreach. Research in the past few decades has uncovered the deep, largely unmet needs of this group. In response, MK and missionary (now retiree) Twana Johnson created WGM’s MK outreach program in 1998.
Since then, the program has aided missionary families and their children through many, many transitions. Because of the program, parents have a better understanding of how missionary life shapes their children. With this awareness, parents are better equipped to address their children’s struggles. It has also helped MKs understand and appreciate their invaluable experiences overseas.
The outreach continues to impact MKs beyond college because of the relationships that are formed. Mike shared how a college graduate sought him out with some spiritual struggles. “Because of the relationship we had developed over the years, he asked for my advice and for me to walk with him through these necessary life changes,” Mike said.
Partner with Outreach to MKs
PRAY: Pray for MKs in all phases of their lives. Pray for them as they travel with their families and develop into young people. Pray for college-age students as they struggle with transitioning into the United States and processing their experiences.
ACT: According to Mike, one of the best ways to minister to MKs is to seek them out and ask them questions about their stories and countries. “Even if you cannot relate to all they tell you, it may give you an opportunity to not only allow them to process but also learn more about them,” he said.
MORE: Go to the Prayer Calendar for a daily list of MKs to remember in prayer.
SHARE: View a speaker outline for Outreach to Missionary Kids.