This interview with David F., a missionary kid who grew up in Indonesia, lends us the perspective of someone a few years beyond college. David is married with two young children and recently ventured out into an unexpected but successful business partnership after a number of years teaching and working for a local greeting card company. All the while, his heart desires to be overseas at some point in the future.
Propel: Once in a while I come across stories of missionary kids who resent their upbringing overseas for various reasons. How was life as a missionary kid for you? What were the pros, the cons?
David: I absolutely love the fact that I was brought up overseas, and really cherish my unique upbringing. I got to enjoy all kinds of cool things and activities that I wouldn’t have if I had grown up in the good ‘ol U.S.A. I guess I missed McDonalds? Don’t know any of the TV shows people do? Honestly, I credit my parents for clearly demonstrating and communicating that it was family first, work and ministry second on the mission field. Most MK [missionary kid] resentment comes from the all-to-familiar attitude of ‘nothing but my ministry’ that some mission organizations once espoused. Family is our first ministry. The same disenchantment exists in the homes of pastors — or just busy people.
Propel: How did growing up as a missionary kid influence your decisions today? How did it affect your outlook on life, goals for life and spiritual walk?
David: It’s definitely broadened my horizons; other cultures are really, really not like our culture! They’re not worse, they’re different. Viv ‘la difference! I take very seriously the charge of Jesus to go into all the nations, and want my life to always be involved with missions as God leads. I’ve seen mission activity produce a great harvest — with my own eyes — and this makes me value it and desire it to go forward unhindered.
Propel: When in life did you decide you wanted to be a missionary? What led up to this realization?
David: God wants us all to be a missionary where we are. However — and I may be a little weird — but I think that being a missionary is really cool, even fun. Yes, it has a lot of challenges and generally scares me to death as well. Helping people know God is just about the highest goal for anyone; I’m convinced it’s a great way to spend a life. I’ve thought so for a long while, not sure I could put my finger on exactly when. (more…)