I am a missionary kid (MK). My parents are retired missionaries who served with SIM in Niger, Nigeria and the United States between 1970 and 2013. I was born while they were serving in Niger. I am also in the “family business”, as a missionary serving with SIM at Sahel Academy in Niamey, Niger in 2016. While attending Kent Academy in Nigeria where my parents served for several years, I never dreamed that I would become a teacher myself, let alone draw on that experience regularly as I work each day. Even though I see now what a great opportunity it was and how much I benefitted from returning to the US at fifteen to finish high school at a boarding school while my parents remained in Nigeria, I was pretty angry with them at the time for sending me away. Additionally, this experience now gives me unique credibility with the students who board at Sahel in Niger while their parents serve far away and in other countries.
Another area of my life that was very challenging at the time but I now see as such a benefit was the process of my “call” to missions. Although I loved my parents, got along well with them, and highly respected them, I did not want to be a missionary. I felt really guilty about that for a long time. How could I love the Lord and want to serve Him but keep missions off the table? I had even walked an aisle in 10th grade to dedicate my life to serve God as He would guide me. God led me to realize near the end of my time in college that obedience was the requirement, and that has very little to do with location. God had asked my parents to move overseas as a young married couple with very little life experience. He asked me to stay in the US until I was 40 and acquire the professional skills and experiences I would need to be effective in Niger in His time. God also showed me that it was not just about me. My wife and kids were also going to be significant members of the ministry team. They too needed some preparation time so that all six of us would be effective tools that God could use to teach, coach and disciple the MK’s at Sahel Academy.
My path of obedience has led my family and me to Sahel Academy. Could missions and specifically education be on your path as well? Would you consider a new location for your daily walk in obedience? Maybe God has been preparing you to join us here in Niger.