Can Kids Cope on the Mission Field?

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by Morgan Wild on February 4, 2016

Our friends, who are also missionary kids living here in the jungle, were asked this question by churches. Can kids cope on the mission field?

We have heard that one of the most formidable obstacles that discourage and detour young families from pursuing lives as missionaries is the concern of whether or not their children can thrive on the mission field.

This is a topic that a lot of potential missionaries, parents, and people in general struggle over because children are valued and there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to taking them to another country. Worrying thoughts swirl through a parent's head as they consider repercussions they might endure if they ever took such a risk with their kids.

Wild Brothers Early Years

Morgan, Kian, Hudson, and Asher shortly after we first arrived on the field.

Some thoughts and questions I have heard include the following:

  • What about all the diseases they will be exposed to?
  • How, or will they thrive socially? Can they make friends?
  • What if they just don't like it?
  • Will they miss family?
  • Will they grow up to be weirdos?

There are many positive angles that I think missionary kids learn. We learn to respect and appreciate the differences of cultures. We learn to adapt to change. We learn to be flexible. We learn the importance of ministry. Maybe that is why so many former MKs (missionary kids) come back to the mission field as missionaries themselves. Being an MK most of my life, I think I can say that my brothers and I have thrived despite the fact that we are far from our home country. So far it seems we have all turned out all right without any strange side effects!  :  )

Wild Brothers
Actually, we love it. Our parents’ decision was hard, when they could have chosen other paths might have spared them a lot of extra worry, but it was priceless because it helped teach them to fully trust God with the lives of their children. Even the most seasoned missionaries will admit the extra challenges that face families who take their kids to the mission field, but they also claim that God is totally sufficient and worth entrusting with their children’s lives.

*The views expressed by the Wild family are their own and not necessarily those of Answers in Genesis.

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