MK Resources

Missionary Kid Care

Junk Food – MK Book – Chap. 2b

Chapter 2-

Educational/Schooling Choices (Advantages and Disadvantages)

  • English Curriculum Schools (Boarding – Christian – Secular)
    • Standard English Curriculum and a calendar patterned after home country allows the student to transfer back and forth with a minimum of educational problems.
    • Often Schools are far from parents work and so children must leave  at an early age. (or parents must move)
  • Home Study
    • Many excellent courses available based on standard English curriculum’s.
    • For the most part, easy to transfer back and forth.
    • Educational Materials can be used two ways:
      • Using Correspondence schools that set standards and schedules to be followed. Tests and projects are graded at the school.
        • Mail can be expensive and even unreliable.
        • It’s a system that offers processional teaching help for student.
      • Using Correspondence Schools that provide educational materials for students/families to use at home on their own.
        • Less expensive, Family free to decide what is best for the student, can produce better skills in self-study.
        • Parents must oversee schooling, students must take placement exams upon returning to home country, students may also lack experience in listening to a the teacher, taking notes, giving oral exams, working with peers.
  • Host Country Schools
    • Provides peer group interaction.
    • Good schools provide rigorous academic atmosphere.
    • Bi-cultural base for understanding of the world and community.
    • Can have deficiencies in English grammar, literature, history, and geography of home country.
      • Can be supplemented by parents.
    • Transfers need to be planned around differences in school-year calendars.
    • Can lose half or entire school year but gains much more in multicultural experience.

Cross-Cultural Entry for College

  • 4 Major steps:
    • 1. The process of preparing the student to function independently.
    • 2. The process of choosing a college or other Educational Institution.
      • Important to figure out the students interests, skills, gifts, strengths, weaknesses prior to choosing college/major.
    • 3. The process of applying for a college.
    • 4. Access to tests such as:
      • PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test)
      • SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test)
      • ACT (American College Test)
      • If necessary, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)
  • College Prep Suggestions
    • 1. Plan a once-a-week gathering of HS students and advisers.
    • 2. Make up a packet of helpful cross-cultural entry materials
      • Packet may include:
        • Stories of other families experiences, info on home country (such as cultural info, maps etc), worksheets on how to improve communication skills, videos of the new environment for student, related articles about the reentry transition (articles on decision making, temptations, social life, etc).
  • Financial Aid
    • 3 Major Sources:
      • 1. From Colleges
      • 2. From the CSS – {College Scholarship Service} (Government grants)
      • 3. From Private-Sector Funds
    • Things to remember:
      • Application forms are available from colleges or the CSS.
      • Schools consider Financial Aid 6-8 months prior to school year which will be applied.
      • Copy of parents most resent U.S. Income Tax return will be required.
      • Filing early (February) will help meet Application Deadlines.
      • If Possible, during furlough, establish residency in state the student plans to attend college in so State Grants can be available. 
Gordon, Alma Daugherty. Don’t Pig out on Junk Food: the MK’s Guide to Survival in the U.S. Wheaton, IL: Evangelical Missions Information Service, 1993. Print.

Junk Food – MK Book – Chap. 2a

Chapter 2-

  • Read about an MK who had a hard time with his education. For instance, he used Correspondence Courses for chemistry and they would make assumptions about the conditions that would make his experiments invalid.
  • MK Education – No single choice is always best.  The important factors are each person’s academic needs, thorough research as a family, and an open mind toward possible changes along the educational road.
  • A family needs to be realistic in helping a young person decide how to prepare best for life’s work.
  • MK Educational Suggestions-
    • Consider each person’s academic needs individually.
    • Do thorough research
    • Do research jointly as a family.
    • Keep an open mind toward possible changes along the educational road.
  • MKs need adults around who will encourage them to excel and be faithful at whatever skills God has given them. (so true – parents and other adults. This is a key for ALL kids and young adults… however, it can be easy for an MK to slip through the cracks)
  • If you homeschool, don’t make it all about book learning.  Expand into other areas as well – including family activities.
  • Boarding Schools have many advocates as critics.  the crucial factor seems to be the houseparents. If they are loving, kind, and wise, a child almost always has a positive experience.
    • Other factors:
      • The child’s age – Many MKs and educators suggest waiting until High School.
      • The presence of siblings
      • the individual make-up of the MK.
Gordon, Alma Daugherty. Don’t Pig out on Junk Food: the MK’s Guide to Survival in the U.S. Wheaton, IL: Evangelical Missions Information Service, 1993. Print.

The TCK Story Film

This is a film that is being put together about TCKs.  It looks well done and is well worth putting on your “To See” list.  It’s scheduled to broadcast in the spring of ’11 in Canada and then the States after that.

Mish Kids – TV series

This is a TV series about missionary kids that looks to be British. Not sure if it ended up running or not.

Junk Food – MK Book – Intro-Chap. 1


  • You can take as many steps you want to “Americanize” your kids, but they will still be different.
    • Illustration – Story about kids whose parents bought American style clothes to fit in but didn’t take long to stick out as they carried their luggage on their heads in the airport.
  • MKs told other MKs to:
    • Laugh at your mistakes… they will happen.
    • Don’t feel bad for yourself.
    • Make the best of it all.
  • Encourage MKs to be content wherever they are is the real secret, however, this does not happen overnight or without much effort.
  • MK Ministry is worthwhile to help enhance advantages and minimize disadvantages.

Chapter 1

  • Quote – “If God has called us to both parenting and ministry then he gives us the grace to do both well.  Not family versus ministry, but family in ministry.” -David Pollock (Love this quote – )relevant for all ministry, not just missionaries)
  • 4 years away PLUS 4 years of continues growth in home country (during those 4 years away) actually equals more like 8 years of change for missionaries.
  • Parents can be too involved in the ministry and can ignore their kids. The, as for me and my family, we will serve the Lord factor, stretched out of context.
  • Help is needed during cross-cultural reentry, not only prior to it.
  • Expect depression and loneliness as a normal part of the transition.
  • Keep in touch with home country via Magazines, online, etc.
  • MKs repeatedly were concerned about their parents; over-involvement in their ministry – many felt left out of their parents’ main objective in life. (heartbreaking however, I can understand how that can easily happen…)
  • Parents suggestions:
    • Be a good listener, not always the advice-giving kind of listening.
    • Draw your children into the conversation.
    • Show them you are interested in, and understand, how they feel.
  • Rural MKs should get some city exposure BEFORE they go to the home country. Don’t send them right out of the tribe as they need to know the world that they are going to.
  • An important factor in helping MKs in growing up is to be able to distinguish between the petty and the profound.
  • Parents should express their own fears in regard to their transition! This helps the MK know their feelings are normal and it also promotes openness and not to hide your emotions.
  • Parents sometimes shut out their separated child as a way to cope with their own pain.  However, this can lead to a child feeling that their parent does not care about them.
Gordon, Alma Daugherty. Don’t Pig out on Junk Food: the MK’s Guide to Survival in the U.S. Wheaton, IL: Evangelical Missions Information Service, 1993. Print.

Junk Food – MK Book – Foreword-Preface


  • Being an MK is not a choice.
  • Positives for an MK-
    • Multi-lingual, Positive Interracial relationships, open-mindedness, keen sensibility toward other cultures, appreciates radically different value systems, Independence, expanded knowledge of geography, time spent with Missional Leaders and nationals.
  • Negatives for an MK-
    • Hurts to be uprooted, forcibly separated from family/friends, study in distant missionary schools, nagging questions- “where is my homeland?”, “which is MY culture?”, homesickness.
  • Quote – “I hated the impersonal institutional atmosphere of mission school” (Why do I keep hearing this?)
  • Quote – “who could help if I were not too proud to unleash the pent-up resentment created deep within by the sense of loss that I couldn’t even explain…. However, the crisis lost substance and vanished.”
  • Quote – “my siblings and I were left behind in a prison-like “home” for missionary children.” (I understand that there is a context that this is a from the perspective of a child who is separated from his parents, but I still wonder why he feels so strongly that it was like a prison? Is there something else to it???)
    • His complaints about the school-
      • Highly structured routine
      • Sparse food
      • uninteresting work
      • was at an awkward adolescent age as it was
      • the surrogate parent or counselor never convinced him that they cared about him. (This is a trend I am hearing that drives me nuts… this has to be stressed.)
    • However he does say that it must not have been too bad because 3 out of 4 of his friends there ended up chosing missions as a career.


  • TCKs develop a relationship to multiple cultures.
  • Individual blends of TCKs vary-
    • Intensity of exposure, what age a child comes in contact with other cultures, amount of time the child spends with the other culture.
  • TCKs roots are with “people”, not a “place”.
  • TCKs have a sense of belonging with others with similar experiences.
  • Independence can = an asset and natural leadership skills.
  • Independence can = Isolation – which can lead to distrust. If a person cannot trust (or be trusted) then he/she cannot function will in that society.
  • TCKs cannot ever change back to a mono-cultural person.
  • Solid questions for MKs-
    • What would you like to have known reentering your parents’ home country?
    • What tools (conferences, books, clubs, articles, people, etc) did you find most helpful in your cross-cultural entry (reentry?)
    • What advice would you give another MK preparing to return to the parents’ home country for college or work?
    • What suggestions would you make to mission boards or missionary parents concerning rearing children, MK schooling, and general missionary family life?
  • Most MKs would NOT trade their childhood (98% polled out of 100 MKs in the late 1980s)
Gordon, Alma Daugherty. Don’t Pig out on Junk Food: the MK’s Guide to Survival in the U.S. Wheaton, IL: Evangelical Missions Information Service, 1993. Print.

Company for Christmas


This year we were blessed to have five MKs come over to share Christmas Day with us.  Check out the blog post on our website about it.

Random MK Observations


  • PNG MK females were never aloud to go anywhere without a male for safety and now in the states, many of them are struggling with fear to go places without males.
  • Mexico culture – Mexican culture will never say “no” to if you ask them something… however, they may not follow through.  They see rejection as a massive deal and will not say no to not offend you.
  • PNG men nationals hold hands and rub the thigh as a sign of brotherhood.
  • Many MKs struggle with shopping and often get lost in places such as grocery stores.
  • MKs are used to being “watched” all the time, wherever they go.
  • I watched an MK climb to the top of a high tree to get reception on his phone during a  high wind storm.

Soccer with Paraguay MKs

>I had a chance to play on a indoor soccer team with a all Paraguay MKs.  I did make some interesting observations.  As I have been playing soccer and indoor soccer for most my life, I definitely noticed a different style of play.  They NEVER use the wall to pass with which is usually a major factor in indoor soccer.  (part of the game)  They can’t stand it – they actually get quite angry.  they don’t like passing much at all. They think it makes you look weaker and they feel like it’s a matter of pride being able to do it by themselves.  (lack of teamwork) I find that is a attitude that is true for most South American influenced players. 

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