ByDiane Fietje on Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Loving and Supporting MKs: One Church's Story
By Diane Fietje
on Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Every Friday morning at 8 am EST during the first few months of Covid, Steve, the Mission Pastor from our church, invited the children of our missionaries together to have some fun over Zoom for an hour. Since these kids were located around the world in 4 different time zones, 8 o’clock seemed to be the best time to meet.
It took creativity.
This was no easy feat. Ages ranged from 5 to 15, kids had different needs, different quarantine measures, different support structures in place and different schedules. (Some were busy homeschooling and did not have much free time while others were stuck in their apartments with not much to do and not much community.)
It gave the MKs (Missionary Kids) value and showed care.
As a parent I am very grateful. It meant a lot to our daughters that they were worth the time for their pastor to meet with them. As one of the missionary parents told me, “The time Steve spent with the kids clearly communicated that the girls’ wellbeing was important to him and for him to carve time from his schedule to engage with them was very special to the girls.”
It gave the MKs something to look forward to.
This was not something we had to drag our kids out of bed for, rather a time they looked forward to each week. Another parent said, “The girls thoroughly enjoyed it. It gave them something to look forward to and gave them an opportunity to do something fun and creative within our new home, which we found helped with noticing new things in the culture.”
It gave the MKs a challenge, fun and lots of laughs.
Each week the kids were given a challenge to prepare for the next time that they met. These were some of the activities:
- Building something using toothpicks
- International hats (and guessing which country the hats were from)
- A 'scaredad' contest (instead of scarecrow) – Dressing up something to look like their dad
- Guess the riddle – Some of the church staff told the kids a riddle they needed to solve. This was a great way to be introduced to the staff who pray for them.
- They also played lots of Kahoot where a friendly ongoing competition carried on between our girls and their cousins, also missionary kids.
It gave encouragement to MKs and parents.
Both children and parents were encouraged. Parents are encouraged when their children are cared for and invested in. At the end of each time, the kids were given an opportunity to share any prayer requests and then were prayed for.
Loving & Encouraging MKs
What are some ways you could love and encourage the MKs you know?
The MORE Network facilitates quarterly Church Mission Leaders Network meetings for mission pastors and mission chairs to discuss relevant topics and provide mutual encouragement. Some of the great ideas shared include how to best care for MKs and missionaries.
If you are a church mission leader, please contact us for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane Fietje serves with the MORE Network as a part-time administrator and full-time MK champion. Along with her husband Mike and their children, they spent 20 years in Peru with a mission organization serving children at risk. Having experienced transition back to Canada, first Mike after growing up as a missionary kid in SE Asia, and then as a whole family returning from Peru, they know how hard it can be to readjust to life in North America and are delighted to be able to help others in similar circumstances.