10 Questions Missionary Kids Dread

by Taylor Murray on October 18, 2015

Ever talked to an MK before? Did you wonder why we looked a little lost? Why we tend to give people confused looks all of the time? Yeah. As an MK myself, I can say with confidence: we’re an odd bunch. Guilty as charged! But there’s more to the story than you might think.

You see, MKs are usually asked many questions about our lives overseas. Although these well-intended questions are asked out of genuine friendliness, curiosity, and a desire to connect, a few can be extremely difficult to answer. Here are the top 10 questions MKs dread:

10 Questions MKs Dread Picture

Question #1“Aren’t you glad to be home?”

On the bright side, MKs have many homes we love dearly. On the not-so-bright side, MKs never know where home actually is. It’s complicated. Hence our blank expressions mixed with terror when confronted with this daunting question. Are we supposed to pick one? Do our homes across the ocean not count?

We are typically struck with this realization when ‘home’ assignment isn’t turning out how we envisioned. Permanently wrinkled clothes. Too many road trips in a ridiculously-short amount of time. A diet consisting mainly of the huge boxes of Wendy’s chicken nuggets purchased by sleep-deprived, currency-confused, mega-sized missionary families. Life is crazy. We recognize once again that our home country doesn’t feel like home anymore.

 

Question #2 “Do you remember me? I held you when you were 6 months old!”

Question #2 Baby Picture

MKs desperately want to avoid sounding rude, but our diaper-clad years are pretty vague. Especially when being held by 300 different people at eight different churches in five different states was our reality. Faces tend to blur after a while. Especially at six months old and/or long gaps between home-country visits.

Once, a dear older couple invited my family to their home for dinner. I none-too-geniously doubted I had ever met them. Then I saw our prayer card faithfully stuck on their fridge and blushed bright red. Oops.

 

Question #3 “Where do you buy your clothes?”

Missionaries aren’t usually applauded for their awesome fashion sense. But on occasion, we find ourselves accidentally wearing something not three years behind the current trend. I have these crazy-patterned bohemian pants I purchased in Chiang Mai at a night market. They’re faded and stretched, but they tend to attract attention. Once, a girl enthusiastically asked me where I purchased them.

Thailand…”  I answered. She stared at me, alarmed by the fact that she would have to fly thirteen hours to purchase them. MKs’ wardrobes are usually furnished in more than one country (or even continent!) It happens.

 

Question #4 “How’s insert host country?”

Politically? Economically? Agriculturally? Socially? Spiritually? Personally? MKs have been asked all of the above! This is why I always try to avoid the professor-looking gentlemen with big glasses and grey sweaters at church visits. They are unfailingly interested in the population of Japan (my host country). I looked it up in preparation for my family’s last home assignment. But then I forgot.

 

Question #5 “Have you made a million friends?”

Well. Do my siblings count?

In truth, siblings are usually the only steady source of friendship MKs have. Chances are, we haven’t made a million friends in our host country. It’s painful to admit, especially when that is what’s expected of us. Language barriers and cultural differences make friendships difficult to bridge. Friendships with teammates are can end abruptly as families change location or ministry. Coupled with the realization that many of our former friends in our home country have moved on—most MKs are actually seeking friendships.

 

Question #6 “Can you say something in Chinese?

Yup. Chinese. Totally not dependent on what country we actually live in.

 

Question #7 “Don’t you love listening to your parent’s presentations?”

The first sixty times? Yes! Now? We hear them in our dreams. Seriously, no joke.

A few years ago, my family and I visited a friend’s small group to present about our ministry in Japan. My sister and I wanted to play outside. All the other kids wanted to listen to our parent’s presentation. We stared at them like they were crazy. Really?

 

Question #8 “Do you eat bugs?”

unnamed

This question wins the “most-frequently asked” award. Actually, I don’t eat bugs on a regular basis! But, yes, a lot of MKs do. I eat raw fish, squid, and octopus weekly, though. (That tends to still illicit the same response.)

Once, my friend went to a store in her host country to purchase a kitten. She picked the smallest, cutest, furriest one and handed it to the shop owner with her summer savings. He smiled, picked up the kitten, broke its neck, and gave it back to her in a paper bag for dinner. She ran home crying, “Mommy! Mommy! I didn’t want to eat Fluffy!”

 

Question #9 “Have you had fun over there?”

I love living overseas. But it is not a vacation! It’s life. Normal, mundane, regular life. Math tests, grocery-shopping, and room-cleaning still apply to MKs too. Just under different circumstances. Possibly without air-conditioning. Possibly without beds. Probably without a dryer.

But that’s okay. The only time I wished for a dryer was when I put on a freshly-washed shirt straight from the clothes rack and found a beetle crawling up my sleeve. I probably wouldn’t have categorized that experience as fun.   

 

Question #10 “Are you going to be a missionary when you grow up?”

What if someone asked you, “What’s your dad’s job? A doctor? Oh. Then you’re going to be a doctor too, right?”

“I don’t know!” you might reply.

I don’t know either. But I do know that I want to follow God’s call for my life, wherever that may be.

 

The next time you talk to an MK? Recognize they might feel lonely and insecure despite their nonchalant façade. Ask “how are you?” instead of “where are you from?” Give them a smile and a hug.

And to MKs, the next time you are asked one of these 10 questions? Smile. Recognize that they are asked out of a desire to understand and connect. Love back by engaging … even through these ever-dreaded questions.

 

Taylor Murray is a 17-year-old missionary kid serving with her family in Hiroshima, Japan. Author of Hidden in My Heart: A TCK’s Journey Through Cultural Transition, she is passionate about supporting TCKs and their families through her writing. Visit her blog at www.taylorjoymurray.com.

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  • Steph E

    Haaa ha. I love this. I’ve also gotten: “Do you wear clothes in Africa?” Um.. noo… my grandmother waits in horror at the airport with giant blankets to quickly cover our nakedness as we step off the plane. 😉

    • Elizabeth Trotter

      Laughing so hard at this Stephanie!!!

    • Taylor

      LOVE THIS STORY!!!! A lot of people think we wear kimonos every day. 🙂 Nope…

    • Richelle Wright

      My oldest daughter, when she was only 8 or so years old, was invited to a ladies’ tea/mother-daughter type thing at her aunt’s church. I wasn’t with her as she and her sis were visiting their aunt and uncle for the weekend. She was sitting next to a window and enjoying the fall colors and watching a squirrel gathering nuts. One of the older ladies leaned down and asked her if they had squirrels like that in Africa. She looked up and very sweetly, demurely said, “No. But we do have spitting cobras.”

      Her aunt recounted the story to me, so I asked her about it. She told me she’d gotten tired of the silly questions…

      • Leah

        Why is it silly to ask if they have squirrels in Africa? I would have assumed not. We don’t have them in Australia.

        • Richelle Wright

          The question wasn’t silly – from an adult perspective. It was more the fact that MKs/TCKs get tired of having people ask them what, in their young and immature minds, are silly questions because the answer is so obvious to them.

          • Pete

            btw, yes, we do have squirrels in Africa.

      • Katharine Glauner

        Hehe….when we were in Cote d’Ivoire my dad killed one of those with a broom….quite an epic story that appeared in nearly every missionary speech given…

        • Taylor

          Haha!! Your dad is a HERO!! 🙂

    • Katharine Glauner

      I had a friend who definitely answered this question “No we don’t…the only time we cover a little are at weddings where we wear a loin cloth. Other than that…running naked all the time. These clothes are itchy!” Had another friend who was asked if the airport had given him his clothes…

      • Taylor

        “These clothes are itchy!” haha!! So funny 🙂

  • Liz Eck

    It’s so good and helpful to hear your perspective and wise advice. This mom of MKs sure appreciates it!

    • Taylor

      Thank you so much, Liz! I had fun writing the article. So glad to hear that other MKs can relate….and their moms! 🙂

  • Chris Flanders

    Taylor – Having grown up as an MK relatively close to you (in Yamaguchi Ken), albeit a few a decades earlier, I can attest that I fielded all of these same questions. I guess times haven’t changed as much as we’d like to think. My #11 was a lady at a supporting church who asked me during a furlough visit “How long does it take you to drive back to Japan?”

    • Taylor

      Thanks for commenting, Chris!! I can totally relate to Question #11– people ask us how long it takes to drive from Japan to Thailand. 🙂

    • Elizabeth Trotter

      Too funny!!

  • Marilyn Gardner

    Yay Taylor! LOVE having you on this site and sharing your writing. Excellent post!

    • Taylor

      Thank you so much, Marilyn! I LOVED writing this article and was so excited to see it posted!

  • Jim McGarvey

    I was an MK or as Taylor says TCK. My parents were missionaries in Japan for seventeen years and I lived there for eleven years, age 5-17. We lived in Hiroshima and nearby Itsukaichi most of those years, though I went to school at Canadian Academy in Kobe eight of those years. We moved to Japan in 1952, seven years after the war ended and our home in Hiroshima was located just blocks from the Peace Park and museum of the A-bomb attack. My memory at 68 doesn’t recall all of the questions we were asked as does Taylor’s but we had our share. One was regarding how the Japanese treated us – remembering we moved there just years after the war ended. I have been able to say that we were treated well. Any disrespect was rare. Regarding the food, I never took to the fish etc. that was a staple of the Japanese diet. Never could get used to the “fishy” smell. I never ate raw fish, squid or octopus while in Japan and haven’t till this day! LOL. I know that’s out of step with America’s love affair with sushi! My wife did eat some squid when we returned to Japan for a visit in 2000, but I probably ordered a hamburger or something! Living in Japan was a great experience in to many ways to share here. One of the greatest downsides was missing years of time with my grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins etc., some of whom I never really had the opportunity to meet, no less get to know. We were in Japan for six years with a year home on furlough followed by a five year term. No Skyping, cell phones, FaceTime. Letters took two weeks one way via airmail and telephone calls were out of the question at $25 per minute – greatly limiting the means of keeping in touch we take for granted today. Being sent away to school, away from my parents, beginning with third grade was clearly the most difficult experience I had in my MK years. It has had a life long effect on my life, leaving a hole in my heart. Child hood and adolescent experiences that a child normally has with their Mom and Dad, are simply missing, having lived apart from them from a very early age, for months at a time, for many years – something that should never be expected of a child. These were some of the sacrifices we as MK’s made back then. Thankfully much has changed in the 21st century missionary experience. Over all, however, I have much to be thankful for having had the opportunity to live in Japan as part of my parent’s call to reach the Japanese with the Gospel. A part of my heart remains in Japan and I am looking forward to returning for another visit to my adopted homeland.

    • Taylor

      Thanks for sharing your MK story, Jim! Loved reading your comment and can relate to many of the things you said. Especially about missing time with family. So hard. As I was reading about your experience of being sent away to school, a book popped into my mind that I think you would really enjoy. Have you heard of Letters Never Sent by Ruth Van Reken?

  • kim

    My daughter hates the question…Which country is better?

    • Taylor

      YES!! That ones hard to answer too, because I love both so much. 🙂

      • Ria La

        totally! its like who do you like better – your mom or your dad? seriously?
        specific is better. like what are things you like about each country? what do miss when you’re there (fast internet, chocolate) what do you miss when you’re in your passport country? (the food, climate…landscapes…etc.) =) what frustrates you in each country?

    • Brad H

      You’re darned whichever way you respond.

  • Carol C

    I loved the one when folks would ask “Did you ever see Tarzan?” Seriously? Or do you know so and so that lives in Africa? Ummmm Where exactly?

    • Taylor

      I’ve totally gotten the “do you know so and so question?” in Japan too! Too funny! Thanks for commenting 🙂

    • Brad H

      Italians ask us if we know an American….perhaps even a pastor….but seriously how many pastors are in the United States of America. Personally, I’ve never stopped to count but to think I would know this person…..Hmmm!

  • Julie Norman

    Are there questions that MK’s like to be asked? I would love to hear alternatives!

    • Corrie Kolbe

      Yes! “How are you??” “What has been your favorite thing about *passport country* so far?” “What has been your least favorite thing?” “Do you like to read?” “What do you like to do for fun?” Basically, if you would ask it of a kid you see regularly, ask it of an MK. Being left out of the “normal” conversations sucks.

    • Katharine Glauner

      That is a great question! And perhaps we do come across a bit as being judgmental when we comment on these questions – but it is hard sometimes because having all that background greatly affects you and your world perspective…and when people ask questions that just sound as though they have so little knowledge about anything outside their own country (especially when the questions are repeated regularly – it is frustrating). I love what Corrie said, definitely good questions…but the biggest thing is to actually want the answer (not a condensed short and sweet one). Most MKs and TCKs want to be able to share but are also frequently confounded by people who ask well-meaning questions but don’t stick around for the answers…

      • Kitty

        That is exactly how I feel. I can’t tell you how many times I had people ask me, ,”So what’s it like over there?” Only to interrupt me mid sentence with how they think it would be over there. I am not offended when people ask me questions but it is very frustrating when people don’t listen to my answer. I don’t think it’s bitter or rude to be irritated by how most people seem to ask questions only to be polite and interrupt with their own opinions that you don’t really want to here anyway.

        • Ria La

          I can totally relate to that! honestly, I don’t mind the questions if they’re sincere and they’re not just looking for an exotic 30-second entertainment…if they genuinely want to know more, I’m happy to share. but sometimes they also ask questions that I don’t want to answer in that moment because the memories are maybe painful or its just not a light-hearted kind of lunch conversation. i grew up in Pakistan and Thailand and get asked A LOT about danger in Pakistan and stuff and I don’t mind giving a real answer – but it might not always go well with chips and coke.

    • Taylor

      Great question, Julie! You got me thinking about some questions I would love to be asked as an MK. Thanks for commenting!

      • Laura…

        I’m hoping you’ll write one like that! 🙂

  • Leah

    I’m not an MK, but as someone who has lived in more than one country, I can relate to the points regarding ‘home’.

    Some of the others just sound ridiculous though. What kid likes listening to their parents’ presentations?? Haha.

    • Taylor

      So true, Leah. 🙂 On the night of my parent’s last presentation, my sister and I presented instead! 70 times is just one too many. Haha!

  • jane MK

    I am an MK too and I’ve so man of these “poor misunderstood MK” articles, it is starting to get old. People want to ask questions, and they may not be the “perfect” question, but at least they are trying to engage you in conversation. Instead of getting uptight about it, just roll with it, try to enjoy it and use it an an opportunity to share more about life as an MK. So what if people back in your birth country don’t understand everything about you. Don’t get so easily offended by their questions!
    !

    • Lori McDonald

      I am not a MK, but I was thinking the same thing. These kind of articles, although well intentioned, come across as a bitter attitude. What do you expect people to do? Ignore you so they don’t ask the wrong question? We’re trying to find out a little more about your world. Missionary or not, we should all love people.

      • Taylor

        Thanks for sharing your perspective, Lori. I understand what you are saying. I never intended to sound bitter or judgmental towards those who ask these questions. This article was meant to be light-hearted and funny, with a ending that reminds MKs to engage and love even through these difficult-to-answer questions. We truly appreciate when others want to connect. Thanks for commenting!

        • Lori McDonald

          Maybe I misinterpreted the article then. I do love missionaries and their kids, and pray for them regularly. I know it is not an easy life, and I’m so thankful for those that are willing to makes the sacrifice to share the gospel, whether in the heartland of the US or the other side of the world.

      • If your not an MK, then it is good to keep in mind that MKs own their own stories and can tell their own stories from their perspectives. Their stories are not invalid. In this case, I laughed; I don’t think it was taken to be that serious, but even if it were, MKs own their stories and can talk about the down side, the dark side, the critical side, the bright side, all they want.

    • Jack

      Where were you?

  • jane MK

    Correction: *so many of these articles. Beware of becoming a judgmental, critical MK who looks down on those who haven’t traveled as much as you, or experienced missionary life, or may not understand your life perfectly. An arrogant, condenscending attitude is never attractive.

    • Taylor

      Thanks for commenting, Jane. I understand your perspective. However, this article was completely well-intended and meant to be fun and humorous. My heart was not to be judgmental, critical or arrogant. I totally agree with you in the fact that MKs should try to engage through these questions. That’s why in the conclusion of my article, I wrote that these questions “are asked out of a desire to understand and connect. Love back by engaging … even through these ever-dreaded questions.”

    • Josh

      It’s true that one should not be judgmental and critical, and understanding that they’re trying to connect, but at the same time reading some of the ridiculous questions other MKs are being asked makes me see the larger problem that is plaguing the US. Ignorance. How does a more than likely college educated adult from a country that is supposed to have great education think that you can drive from Japan to Thailand? Americans don’t give two craps about any country other than their own. American ignorance is the real problem behind this and makes MKs and other TCKs lives that much harder to adjust.

  • Mary Beth Robertson

    So true!! Lost count of how many people have asked me if I wear a sombrero and ride a donkey to school…

    • Taylor

      Haha!! Too funny!! 🙂

  • Becky Q.

    I am an MK and I am a little old of these posts. Why is it so bad when people ask us where we are from? It’s a normal question to ask. Living in Peru for 17 years is my life. Why wouldn’t I like to share that. I agree that there are some dumb questions that people ask us, but let’s be real, we have all had pretty dumb misconceptions about the US. I feel like these posts just make people associate MKs with being weird and socially awkward, when that is not the case at all. MKs think they are tired of hearing these questions, but no. We all secretly love them.

    • Becky Q.

      However, I still can relate to having my my parents presentation basically memorized lol.

    • Taylor

      Thanks for commenting, Becky. I appreciate your perspective. I totally agree with you that these questions are asked because people “don’t know and want to get to know me.” That’s why in the conclusion, I encouraged MKs to engage through these questions because they are asked out of a desire to understand and connect with us.

  • Anna Perrott

    ha this is great! I’m a missionary kid from Hong Kong. People often ask, “So do you like Hong Kong or America better?” Well I don’t wanna be rude, but yes I like Hong Kong better. I was born there, grew up there, and all my friends are there. Definitely HK.

    • Taylor

      Thanks for commenting, Anna! I have a hard time with this question, too. I love both Japan and America so much! 🙂

      • Anna Perrott

        Keep writing 🙂

    • Marilyn Gardner

      ha! Yes – I also have to say that #1 is the most difficult. To think that “Home” is a place I visited 3 times is difficult. And I do think that is an easy one to correct!

      • Anna Perrott

        yup 🙂

  • Anna Wegner

    Great article. 🙂 I’m going to have to show this to my kids. My youngest moved out of the US at 2 years old, so his idea of “home” is not the US. Their normal has more to do with transition and changes. My husband is a missionary & a doctor, and you can imagine that they have been asked about career choices. None of them are interested in medical work, but I do anticipate them continuing to have a mobile lifestyle as adults.

    • Taylor

      Thanks, Anna! So appreciate your comment. I can relate to what you said about your kids: “Their normal has more to do with transition and change.” Me too!

  • MJ

    My favorite question: “So how does being Atheist affect your parent’s ministry? How do they feel about it?”

    Oh wait, least favorite question that strangers feel entitled to ask.

  • Levi Long

    I lived in Egypt and my top 3 questions were “Do you live in Pyramids?”
    “Did you ride a camel to school?”
    And “Do you have electricity?”…

    I weep inside

    • Katharine Glauner

      LOL! I grew up in Senegal and I got things like “Do you ride an elephant to school?” “Do lions and tigers run past your house?”……..(I lived in a city of 4 million people….and…only tiger I saw in Africa was at the zoo…). I once had a friend who received an EMAIL from someone who asked if she had a COMPUTER….

    • Taylor

      Haha!! My sister and I got asked if we ride a panda to school… 🙂

  • CEE

    Wow, a little grace could be extended to those who don’t have opportunity to travel or who don’t have opportunity to know people who serve as full time missionaries overseas, or who didnt grow up in the church. I better just keep my mouth shut next time we have families come for home assignment.

    • Taylor

      Thanks for commenting, CEE, and for sharing your perspective. Please, don’t feel that you need to “keep your mouth shut” when missionaries come back for home assignment. I never meant to sound judgmental or critical of those who ask these questions. MKs truly appreciate when others try to connect– it’s what we need! But some questions are just really, really difficult to answer. That’s why at the end of my article, I wrote “recognize that they are asked out of a desire to understand and connect. Love back by engaging … even through these ever-dreaded questions.”

  • Stephen

    I love this article! And I don’t think it’s condescending or rude because quite frankly I think those things multiple times a day now that I’ve moved back to the USA from Asia. I get asked what the biggest difference between the two countries is all the time. That’s a tough one to answer. That, and to “say something in Asian”.
    Thanks for the article, super relatable 🙂

    • Taylor

      I agree…. getting asked what the biggest difference is between Asia and the USA is a tricky one to answer. 🙂 Thanks for your comment, Stephen! I can definitely relate!

    • Laura…

      Maybe the answer to that question could be ‘Well… the USA is one country made up if many states and Asia is a region made up of many countries…’ with a look of confusion on your face. They mean well, but have they actually thought through the question before asking…?

  • Katharine Glauner

    This is great! I was born in Cote d’Ivoire and lived in Japan (in Yokohama) as well as Senegal and so much of this is true to the questions I have heard. One of my least favorites….”Do you speak African?” Like really…yes…the entire continent made up many, many countries and thousands of people groups all share one language…you bet….or did you mean Afrikans? Oh wait..nope I didn’t grow up in South Africa….

    • Taylor

      I totally can relate to that question, too! 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Katharine!

  • Mary Lou Hintz

    I am not a mk, this article sounded like a pity party. I have bad dreams of not knowing where I live, the family moved while I was in school. I don’t know where my classes are & where is my locker, I can’t find my way home. In reality, there was alcoholism, domestic terrorism, beatings, hunger, neglect… We moved so much, I went to 12 grade schools, and 4 high schools. The house we lived in the longest, and most abuse, and horrible life took place, is boarded up , waiting to be demolished!! No one ever lives there long, I believe it is because of what happened to us while we lived there,very demonic activity happened, cruelty! School is a big fog to me.. I’m always trying to recognize. Pat school-mates, never staying long in. One place. My siblings also suffer, 7 children in all. We all need healing! God knows how it was. We were so abandoned from having loving , and nurturing parents. I tried to find healing by pouring my heart out to my Mother.. She left me, crying, and for 20 years we were astranged… I got very severely depressed, and was hospitalized for suicidal idealation, and hurting myself. Came very close to divorce, and losing my 2 boys, and husband. Long story short, God has done Great things for my marriage, and I’ve not been hospitalized for over 10 years now. “Up from the grave I arose”!! My siblings still need healing!

    • Taylor

      Mary Lou, I praise God for the good things He is doing in your life and in your marriage. Sounds like you had such a hard childhood. My heart goes out to you. May God continue to heal the childhood pain for you and all your siblings.

    • PWAASOMEHANNA

      I don’t want to sound rude or to imply that you shouldn’t share or that your experiences aren’t important, but how is your comment not what you’re saying this article is and I don’t see how it is relevant to the article. You can’t compare your experiences as a non-mk to this article about life as a MK/TCK and expect them to be on the same scale and go “so what? I had it worse than you”. And the point isn’t that MK/TCKs want to be pitied for being asked these questions time and time again, it was (as least from my POV) something MK and TCK kids could go, “Oh. You also had that experience. Cool.” and laugh/reminisce about it or to explain to non-MK/TCKs that we might not be comfortable answering these types of questions.

  • KatieK

    This is so great…I love the inside perspective! It helps people understand other people that they don’t have an extensive amount of background knowledge about.

  • Kasen Dai Wysong

    This is incredibly accurate. I moved “back” to the U.S. my junior year of high school. Each of these ten questions bring back memories of that transition. Thanks for writing, it’s nice having people to relate to!

  • QKodiak

    Even though my parents left the mission field 11 years ago when I was 10 yrs old, I can still relate to some of this. I am a Bahamian by birth, but have dual American/Canadian citizenship. I can’t wait until I get to start being the missionary aviator that God has called me to be! I’m still not sure where I’m going yet.

    • Taylor

      So happy to hear that you could relate to some of these questions, QKodiak! Thanks for commenting!

  • Jack Garrott

    As an MK who has been serving as a pastor in Nagasaki Prefecture for over 30 years, I certainly identify. When I was tagging along with my parents, furloughs were every 6th year, a schedule that was set up when crossing the Pacific was cheapest by ship, and we spent a full year in the US. As an independent/self-supporting missionary, US visits have been much shorter and on a very irregular schedule. I’ll be interested in my daughters’ responses to this.

    • Taylor

      So appreciate your comment, Jack, and for sharing the article with your daughters! A few other MKs have commented here with furlough stories similar yours… so interesting to see how we can all identify with the same questions despite differences in time/travel/and experiences.

  • Kimber Iverson

    Thanks for the “insider’s perspective”. I would LOVE to see a follow-up article called “10 Questions Missionary Kids Want to Be Asked” or something on that order. Also, as a parent of MKs, I would love to see an article written specifically to MKs, addressing some typical thoughts/fears/frustrations/attitudes they might have (especially as it relates to visiting lots and lots of people in the “home country”).

    • Taylor

      Thank you so much for commenting, Kimber!! LOVE the article ideas you mentioned! You’ve got me thinking about the 10 questions MKs want to be asked on Home Assignment… 🙂 Also, I have a blog where I am continuing to explore these TCK issues (www.taylorjoymurray.com) would love for you to check it out if interested!

      • Kimber Iverson

        Thanks, Taylor – what a great site! Peace and blessings to you on your journey…

  • Geoffrey Evans

    It’s not just MKs who are asked if they are going to be missionaries when they grow up. When I was a child, it seemed like some well-meaning adult would ask me the same question every time we had a missionary presentation. Today, as a Canadian, my new favorite dumb question I get every time I visit the United States is, “Have you lived in Canada all your life?” I guess people who ask dumb questions will always be with us.

    • clarisseknew

      They are a whale of a lot better than people who never ask a question at all. Haven’t you ever heard, “There’s no such thing as a stupid question”? Grace to all.

  • D. H.

    Hey! Are internet friendships awkward for MK? I’ve never really minded when someone I don’t really know, but have known before is trying to reach out, but one time I sent a private Instagram message to a MK my family knew (it had been years), apologized for the message, said wasn’t expecting them to remember me, but that they we were praying for them, and asked how they were doing. One of the siblings replied, apologized for not remembering, said it meant a lot, etc. I was friendly but not overly friendly (IMHO) & didn’t push her to reply, but in fact, just assumed she may have been creeped and didn’t want to continue the internet friendship. In the next few days, she blocked me, even though her siblings still followed me. With that LONG backstory (sorry) here is my question: what is the best way, if any, to try to reach out and befriend an MK your church supports without making it difficult or the MK? Is there any way? What is appropriate? Thank you SO much!

    • D.H.

      BTW I am a female so hopefully wasn’t seen as a stalker

  • IT’s a treasure, a pleasure and a blessing to be able to live abroad (especially outside the USA), and that far outweighs any silly or irritating questions.

  • Brian Vinson

    I appreciate so much the grace with which you deal with the grumpy commenters who think this article is condescending. You have a definite gift (probably honed from answering countless missionary questions).

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