the MORE Network

Katie's Story

Michèle Phoenix / Monday, March 1, 2021

 

The greatest joy of my life is getting to work with MKs (Missionaries’ Kids). They form a fascinating people group, defined by an extraordinary capacity to contribute to society and by often-unexplored challenges related to growing up between worlds in international ministry.

Every summer, I teach and mentor MKs at two ReBoot Reentry Retreats. And every summer, I’m reminded of how fascinating and complex these young people are.

Based on what we know of their upbringing—families steeped in Christianity and committed to serving God—we might expect them to be ardent believers at even a young age. Some certainly are. But others have found that their own relationship with God has been hampered by the ubiquitous pressure to behave and believe in exemplary ways because they’ve been stamped with the “MK” label.

A ReBoot Story

Two summers ago, a young woman I’ll call Katie attended ReBoot. I was immediately drawn to her shy but radiant smile, the way she made direct eye-contact when she spoke with others and the look of concentration on her face as she considered the topics we addressed that week. She had a deeply questioning soul—not the kind that seeks to discredit, but the kind that yearns to know more and understand.

As I watched her during our sessions in the early days of that week, I noticed that spiritual topics made her go a bit quieter. She looked down and doodled more intensely. And as I taught my lessons about grief and faith, there was often something that looked like frustration and confusion on her face. A sort of dissatisfaction she couldn’t seem to hide.

A couple casual conversations with her led into more in-depth discussions. Then yet more. That it was late in the day or that the time between classes was limited didn’t seem to deter her from looking me straight in the eyes and asking questions like, “So how can God be good and loving when horrible things happen to people?” or “If predestination is real, does that mean he doesn’t care about the people who don’t get picked?”

You know—theological questions that would normally require a series of 3-point sermons to address.

I tried my best to answer her queries and the follow-up clarifications she asked for. Sometimes I just had to tell her that I didn’t know how to respond, but that I do know Jesus and that he is good and trustworthy. She’d cock her head to the side a bit when I made that kind of statement, as if she’d been so immersed in Bible teaching and church planting all her life that the concept of relationship with Jesus was something new for her to consider.

Our mini-theology intensives continued until the end of ReBoot—on bus rides, over dinner, during breaks and after dorm devotions. I found myself looking forward to our encounters, fascinated by the words she would choose and the expressions that would wash over her face as I answered. She’d nod quietly when I was done with the best explanation I could muster. She’d smile and look down for a moment. Then she’d turn and walk away.

A Time of Prayer

Every year, on the last morning of ReBoot, each staff member takes a moment to pray over one or two of the MKs. Katie slipped out of her chair so we could sit on the floor together.

“How can I pray for you, Katie?” I asked. She didn’t say anything for a moment. Her head was down. She fidgeted with the edge of her t-shirt. When she finally did speak, it was so softly that I almost didn’t hear her.

“I think I want Jesus.”

Something fluttered in my chest. I leaned closer and asked her to repeat what she’d said. She looked up and repeated, “I think I want Jesus.” I could see determination and vulnerability in her gaze. Yearning and just a bit of hesitancy. The prayer she uttered a few moments later, as we sat on the floor in a room buzzing with other conversations, was simple, her voice quiet and sincere as she expressed her need for Jesus and stepped softly into relationship with him.

The memory of that day—of the hope and relief on her face—is indelibly imprinted in my mind.

I’ll admit that there are times, especially during a pandemic, when I begin to second-guess the work I do. But when my certainty about this calling wanes, I bring that moment with Katie back to mind. The transformation I saw in her over the course of that week is a testament to two facts I cling to when I crave fresh inspiration and resolve:

  1. MKs need our attention and care just as much as the people their families are sent to reach.
  2. And we must never assume that lifelong exposure to faith will naturally translate into a personal relationship with Jesus.

I still hear from Katie on occasion. She’s becoming the woman God created her to be. And she’s holding on to the faith that morphed, during a weeklong reentry retreat, from theological wrestling into intimate belonging.

One final note: When you remember your missionaries, will you please pray for their children too? Some of them may still need to discover for themselves the loving, engaged and life-enriching God their families preach.

More Information about upcoming ReBoot Retreats:

         


Raised in France as a Missionaries' Kid, Michèle is a mentor, writer and speaker with a heart for MKs. She taught for twenty years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching a global ministry consulting and teaching on topics related to this unique people group. Her goal is to help missions, churches and missionary parents to develop a deeper understanding of MKs in order to address preventable challenges and equip them to thrive. You can check out more of Michèle's articles by visiting Michèle Phoenix.

 

 

 

 


When Missionaries’ Kids Become Adults – What’s Next? When Missionaries’ Kids Become Adults – What’s Next?

As the years pass living in my home country of Canada, I have sensed a growing disconnection from m...
Read More..

Coming Soon: MORE Network Resource Library Coming Soon: MORE Network Resource Library

MORE Network Resource Library ... Coming Soon to a Computer Screen Near You!
Read More..

Katies Story Katie's Story

The story of a Missionary Kid who came to know Jesus at a ReBoot Retreat. 
Read More..

Virginias Story Virginia's Story

This is Virginia's story of how she came into relationship with the Lord!
Read More..

Top 10 Most Valuable Mindsets for MKs & TCKs Top 10 Most Valuable Mindsets for MKs & TCKs

We like Top Ten lists, don’t we? Bite-sized bits of information we can easily process and implement...
Read More..

Forced to Adapt or Choosing to Adapt? Forced to Adapt or Choosing to Adapt?

We can let what’s happening around us mold us or we can be purposeful and seek God’s help in adapti...
Read More..

Entering Well for MKs & TCKs - Transition Part II Entering Well for MKs & TCKs - Transition Part II

Ask adult TCKs about the most challenging transition of their lives, and they'll most likely say, "...
Read More..

Singing and Living in Harmony Singing and Living in Harmony

Harmony and unity are costly, yet very worthwhile. It is SO worth it. In the long run we accomplish...
Read More..

12 Weird Things about Living in Canada 12 Weird Things about Living in Canada

Here are 12 weird things about living in Canada...from the perspectives of MKs (Missionary Kids) & ...
Read More..

Choosing Home Choosing Home

Ask any Third Culture Kid (TCK) where they are from, and the expected answer is, “I don’t know.”  ...
Read More..

Walking by Faith Walking by Faith

After all, isn't it God himself who provides us with a sincere and strong faith in Him? What does i...
Read More..

PRe-Boot 2020 PRe-Boot 2020

Introducing PRe-Boot from the MORE Network!
Read More..

Why Missions Fail without Collaboration Why Missions Fail without Collaboration

We cannot afford to work alone. We accomplish far more, and the results are amazingly better, when ...
Read More..

Together IS Better Together IS Better

Why should mission organizations work together? Working together has its challenges. However, we ca...
Read More..

Praying for Missionaries, Mission Leaders, & Mission Supporters Praying for Missionaries, Mission Leaders, & Mission Supporters

Please join us in praying for Missionaries, Mission Leaders & Mission Supporters during the COVID-1...
Read More..

Welcome Home! Or maybe not? Welcome Home! Or maybe not?

What can churches do to care for their missionaries who have returned back to Canada? Returning to ...
Read More..

Praying for MKs during a Crisis Praying for MKs during a Crisis

How can we pray for Missionary Kids (MKs) during a crisis like COVID-19. Read on for insights from ...
Read More..

Before I Started Something New... Before I Started Something New...

When Diane and her family were transitioning from overseas ministry in Peru back to a Canada, there...
Read More..

Wilderness Reboot: Charas Story Wilderness Reboot: Chara's Story

ReBoot Promo Video: Chara's Story
Read More..

Full Circle Gratitude Full Circle Gratitude

30+ years ago I was a Graduate Student. One of my housemates was a teacher, and a very even- t...
Read More..

ReBoot Promo - Evans Story ReBoot Promo - Evan's Story

ReBoot Promo Video: Evan's Story
Read More..

A Song of Gratitude A Song of Gratitude

Psalm 30 is a song of praise, a song of dedication. God gives us life, experiences, and He rescues ...
Read More..

Gratitude Writing Gratitude Writing

Gratitude writing can be beneficial for your life. Find out more about incorporating this practice ...
Read More..

The Value of Debriefing The Value of Debriefing

Have you ever been blindsided by memories or emotions of an experience that happened years ago? Oi-...
Read More..

Is Competition a Biblical Value? Is Competition a Biblical Value?

One Sunday morning in the church where I pastored, a family came to me and shared how some of their...
Read More..

Wilderness ReBoot: Through the Eyes of an MK Wilderness ReBoot: Through the Eyes of an MK

MKs experience huge transitions in their lives with the biggest one being their move to Canada. The...
Read More..

MORE Network MORE Network

The MORE Network exists to bolster, strengthen and encourage Canadian Missionaries and their child...
Read More..

...

Recommended Podcast: Pondering Purple
A recommended podcast for MKs (Missionary Kids) & TCKs (Third Culture Kids) and those who love MKs & TCKs! 
Read more...
The Importance of Community
Agreement on all aspects of life and ministry are not a requirement for community. In fact, strong relationships are built on healthy dialogue, disagreement, and mutual respect. God calls us far beyond comfortable relat...
Read more...
What’s Next? The Future We Were Not Looking For...
Learning to be resilient in 2021 Mission Life. How COVID has changed plans for missionaries, the impact of living through the “in between” & ideas for walking through this experience in community.
Read more...
When Missionaries’ Kids Become Adults – What’s Next?
As the years pass living in my home country of Canada, I have sensed a growing disconnection from my TCK (Third Culture Kid) background. My second, third, and fourth homes across the globe are more distant than they’ve ...
Read more...
Coming Soon: MORE Network Resource Library
MORE Network Resource Library ... Coming Soon to a Computer Screen Near You!
Read more...
Katie's Story
The story of a Missionary Kid who came to know Jesus at a ReBoot Retreat. 
Read more...
 

 

2 - 7201 72 Street Delta BC V4G 1M5