Prepare to Launch: Praying for Missionary-Kid Graduates
If you’ve ventured into an American WalMart or Target recently, you know that “Back to School” time is upon us here in the U.S. But even in TEAM ministry areas around the world, “missionary” kids are preparing to launch into their next adventure after high school. Some plan to attend college or university in the U.S., Canada or abroad. Others will enter the workforce or begin a new missions journey of their own. Regardless of the chosen path, change is both exciting and challenging.
For this month’s Prayer Focus, we invite you to lift up TEAM’s MK high school graduates and their families as they enter a new chapter. Here are seven ways to pray for our missionary-kids-turned-adults and their families:
1. PRAY for MK graduates who are still discerning their next step.
For many high school graduates, regardless of where they grew up, it can be incredibly daunting to answer the dreaded question everyone is asking them: “What are you doing after high school?” The uncertainty of God’s calling can be compounded for missionary kids who are not sure where “home” is. PRAY for the Holy Spirit to guide and direct the path of graduates still seeking out their calling.
2. PRAY for graduates to use the skills they’ve learned on the mission field.
In many ways, MK’s have an advantage over students born and raised solely in a Western culture. Their familiarity with people of diverse backgrounds makes them well-suited to interact in a new environment. Emily is a TEAM staffer who grew up as an MK in Indonesia and Malaysia. She remembers how her missionary experience helped her when attending college at Carson Newman University in Tennessee. “I learned fast and adapted,” says Emily. “I had a worldview that others didn’t, and I easily worked in different group settings.” Pray that MK graduates can draw on their unique experiences to adjust quickly, interact well with others, and succeed in their new community.
3. PRAY for graduates to appreciate this new season of their lives, especially if it’s a stepping stone to something else.
Some MK’s transitioning into adulthood are anxious to start their career or mission work right away. However, college or a training program must often come first. Mark and Gretchen, TEAM workers in the Czech Republic, have “launched” three adult children and their youngest daughter leaves for university in Ontario, Canada in the fall. “It can be a challenge for some missionary kids to settle into the place where they are for this season of life, knowing there are other places in the world that they would also like to be,” Gretchen shares. PRAY for MK grads to trust God’s timing and the place God has them “for such a time as this.”
4. PRAY for graduates to find Christian community wherever the road takes them next.
Just like any young adult leaving home for the first time, MK’s must separate from the friends and support system they know and love. Peter grew up in Japan where his parents Jon and Tammy serve. “I’ve learned to be comfortable wherever I am and feel like adjusting to new circumstances comes easy for me,” says Peter. On the other hand he adds, ”Moving from place to place made it hard to really build deep friendships. I look forward to building deeper relationships in college.” Pray for God to create divine appointments for MK graduates to meet and meaningfully connect with new friends.
5. PRAY for graduates to have peace and confidence when they feel anxious or homesick.
Emily remembers being excited to start college in the U.S., but also nervous and shy. “I wasn’t up on pop culture and had not experienced all the things kids in the States had during high school,” she shares. “I started my freshman year with no car and still trying to figure out the [U.S.] dollar amounts because they were all the same color instead of being multi-colored!” Pray for MK grads to navigate new cultures and new experiences with a sense of humor and the peace that passes all understanding.
6. PRAY for MK Parents as they “let go” and entrust their new graduates to the Lord.
For many of TEAM’s global worker families, they are sending their graduates to school or work thousands of miles away. While the transition can be bittersweet for moms and dads, Mark and Gretchen are proud and excited for their daughter because they know she’s ready. “As parents, we really appreciate the help and advice we’ve received from TEAM as we’ve raised our kids in another culture,” says Gretchen. Pray for graduates’ parents to have a smooth transition as their kids leave home.
7. PRAY for the siblings of graduating missionary kids.
Several of the TEAM missionary families we spoke with have younger children still at home and mentioned how the upcoming transition may affect them. Most MK’s are very close with their siblings. Many are homeschooled or live at boarding schools with or near their siblings. Thus when an older brother or sister leaves for another adventure and destination, it can be very lonely for the younger kids left behind. Pray for graduates’ siblings to find their new normal without big bro or sis just down the hall.
Thank you to all our TEAM audiences for remembering our TEAM global workers in prayer! And in whatever lies ahead for all our TEAM MK graduates, we wish you and your families many, many blessings! TEAM Member Care is here for you each step of the journey!
Click here to download a printable copy of this month’s Prayer Focus, with additional prayer requests from the field!
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