I Am a North American MK
“Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12). This verse is so true and a great set of guidelines for a North American Missions student. Although this sounds easy and straight forward, there is much more to it. In order to be an effective example in your speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, it is important to know why you are setting an example in the first place.
Being a missions student automatically means people look up to you. Yes, you hear that all the time, but it really comes with an enormous amount of responsibility—responsibility I wouldn’t trade for anything! Other teenagers need you in their lives. They need someone they can look to for guidance without going to an adult. Sometimes being able to talk to someone your own age is easier and less embarrassing. That’s why we are here. As leaders we are to happily be there for everyone in need.
Why happily? Well, everyone knows having a school teacher who hates his/her job is no fun! They are always grumpy and depressing. That’s why it’s important to enjoy being a missions kid! Who would want to talk to a grumpy MK? Personally, this is one area where, thankfully, I have never struggled. It’s probably because my parents taught it so well. But I have never disliked being a missions kid; actually on the contrary. I LOVE it! It’s the best life anyone could ask for!
What is a leader? I’m glad you asked! Webster defines a leader as “the person who leads or commands a group, organization, or country.” Well, I say a leader is someone who humbly leads someone to the best path while loving, guiding, and teaching them along the way. A leader needs to be someone who doesn’t seem all high and mighty.
When I was little and would do something wrong, my dad would sit me down and ask me one question every time, “Do you want to be a leader?” I would cry and answer “Yes.” Then he would ask, “Do you know what a leader is?” And every time I would say “No.” Well now that I’m older, I have a better understanding of what a leader is but definitely not a perfect understanding. But I know when I am confused or puzzled as to what a leader is, I can always look to my parents.
The most important thing to remember as a missionary’s kid is that your parents are the best leaders out there. You should strive to be like them. You should want to talk like them, dress like them, and act like them because God has blessed them with the best job on earth—a North American missionary! Your parents have been called to go to new places with new people and bring God into their lives! I believe God only gives that job to certain people.
Parents are the best, although we don’t think so all the time. We have to remember that our parents have been where we are. They were teenagers in high school, too. Wow! That sounds weird, but it’s true. God has given us a special gift; He said if we obey our parents, we would have long lives! Why would you turn that down?
Lastly, remember to love! As a missions student you will come across many new people. Some of these people may have never stepped foot into a church, and that’s OK! Our job is not to pester them about the past but rather provide a promising future. Love new people with all your heart. Love those who seem weird or strange because they need Jesus too. Never forget to provide a place of refuge, with open arms and listening ears. We, as the North American Mission students, will change the world!
Hi! My name is Caitlyn Toney. I’m sixteen and a junior in high school. Currently, my family and I are North American missionaries in Lexington, Kentucky.
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