Being a missionary kid is a rich tapestry of interweaving cultures, languages, and experiences. Some threads are bright and vibrant, some are dull and boring. Life is life after all. Growing up overseas has unique challenges, but it has its benefits as well.
One of the challenges for missionary kids can be getting a good education that prepares them for the future. As a missionary kid, growing up in Niger, West Africa, my schooling changed depending on where my family was located and how many teachers were available there. Some years I was homeschooled with my brothers. Other years we traveled to a nearby town to attend a one-room school house for a couple days each week. While in the States, we attending public school or took online classes as we traveled from church to church. The majority of my years I attended Sahel Academy, a small mission school located in Niamey, Niger. My experience there was very rich, thanks to the many teachers who came across the globe to teach me. Not only did I learn that a2+b2=c2 or the stages of mitosis, I was also shown how to study God’s word myself and challenged to live a life of service. I was blessed to have many excellent adult role models in my life, people who showed me what it means to be a follower of Christ in daily life.
After graduating from Sahel Academy, I returned to the United States and got my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. Through a series of events, God brought me back to Sahel where I had the privilege to co-teach a diverse class of 1st and 2nd Graders. I absolutely loved pouring into these kids’ lives and enabling their parents to continue serving in Niger. Currently, I am in Tanzania, serving as a homeschool teacher on a TIMO (Training In Ministry Outreach) team among the Zigua people group. We are located out in a small village far from any international school. Without a homeschool teacher, both families on our team would not be able to serve in this location. Learning the language, going through a rigorous training program, living life in the village and doing full-time incarnational ministry is hard enough without the added pressure of homeschooling your children! I am so excited that I get to use my skills as a teacher and my experience as a missionary kid, to pour into the lives of children on our team! After all, they are kids just like any others. They need multiple people caring for them, listening to them, investing in their lives and helping them to grow!
Good teachers, whether homeschooling or teaching at a mission school, are so critical to the health of our mission families and the growth of our missionary children! Please continue to pray for more teachers who are willing to answer God’s call and expand his Kingdom through teaching missionary kids! While thousands of people were praying for teachers last February, God was confirming my call to homeschool missionary kids in rural Tanzania! Your prayers really do make a difference. Who knows how many lives will be affected by the SIM teachers sent out this year!