Greetings from the road with my parents!
Having just completed my first year at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, my summer plans are shaping up to be anything but ordinary. After moving out of the dorms, I joined my parents in Billings, Montana to spend three weeks with them on itineration. We traveled back and forth between Montana and North Dakota for nearly two weeks. We stayed in Montana just long enough for me to finally acquire an official Montana driver’s license! Since I was in Madagascar during the past seven years, there was no way for me to get a permit or license until now. I am so happy that I finally have it! Though we have spent several weeks together traveling, my time with my parents has come to an end. On May 31st I will return to Springfield, Missouri to begin part two of my summer life at Missionary Training and Renewal.
Back in 2002, my family went through missionary training in preparation for the mission field. Essentially my brother and I went to “camp” while my parents sat through training seminars. It is at this “camp” that I will be spending the month of June as a chief. Missionary Kids are split into different groups based on age, and I will be working with the older kids as they go through “boot camp.”
Boot camp is an intensive MK immersion experience. Over the next few weeks, our goal is to mentally and spiritually prepare kids from 4th -12th grade for whatever the mission field might entail. We do this by breaking up in groups and sharing with them our personal experiences as MKs on the field, but also by praying over them and speaking into their lives. As far as the mental preparations go, there are a few traditions including: Eating Ministry, simulated Security/Border control checks, and MuKappa (camp)… Each of these activities is planned to prepare MKs for whatever may come their way while maintaining an element of fun. In eating ministry the kids must live by the motto, eat whatever is served with a smile on your face so as to not offend. We as MKs live by it, eating every strange food served. In the security checks, they are taught both patience and that life is not fair as we may confiscate their “contraband” or send them to the back of the line for some unknown reason. During the MuKappa phase, we go camping for a few days, living the bush life. Basically, because I, and fellow college-age MKs, suffered through it when we were kids, we are excited to put others through it as well.
I am so excited to pour my experience and love as an MK into the kids that we will be sending out this year. I remember how much I cherished my missionary training memories and I am still friends with most of the MKs I met during those weeks. I gained so much from my experience 13 years ago, and I can’t wait to give back this year!
After I finish MK training in Springfield, I will be returning to Montana where I will be an intern at Glacier Bible Camp helping with Family Camp, Teen Camp, Jr. High Camp, and Kid’s Camp. Then in August, once camps have ended, I will be saying goodbye to my parents as they head back to Madagascar for their next term and I head back to Springfield to be a launch leader for the new incoming freshmen at Evangel University this fall. Having my parents back in Madagascar without me will be a bit weird, but it will be exciting to see what God will do in my life here in America. I am used to being away from my parents but having them 10 time zones away will take some getting used to.