Pros and Cons of Being an MK


What are the pros and cons of being an MK?

For me personally, I’m glad that I grew up as a missionary kid. I never fit in when I was in Guatemala, but fitting in is overrated. Who cares that the kids screamed, “Fire! Fire!” and ran away from me because I had red hair and white skin, while they had black hair and brown skin. Yes, I cried, but I got over it.

For all that, I know that living overseas in a third-world country has opened my eyes and given me more wisdom. I have more perspective on life. When I later lived in England as a teacher and my shower stopped working, I was not angry when it took six months for them to fix it. Americans become furious when their lives are not perfect. I’m not sure why they do this. They expect that life on this earth is heaven.

Having grown up in Guatemala, I can tell you that this life is not heaven, and it never will be. Heaven is what happens when you have a deep walk with God and care about God’s glory. Then your life can be heaven on earth, even if your body is put into flames, because more of God in your life is more incredible joy. Yes, heaven is the presence of God. You can have it here on earth when you die to self and stop seeking earthly ease.

Americans are really in the grip of materialism, and American Christians are oblivious to the fact that their walk with God is almost non-existent. They live for TV. They live for a nicer house. They live for all that they covet. They do not live for God. It’s hard to find an American Christian who actually walks by the Spirit. It’s easier to find true Christians in any third-world country, where their walk with God is raw and real.

I watched the following video that has many MK’s telling the pros and cons of being an MK, and I list what they said in the bullet points under the video:

Advantages of Being a Missionary Kid:

  • You get to taste amazing food from everywhere.
  • You get to meet a lot of interesting people.
  • You’re 5,000 miles away from your family.
  • You appreciate the small things in life.
  • You know another language.
  • You get to travel everywhere.
  • You can fit in to most contexts.
  • You understand people better.

Disadvantages of Being a Missionary Kid:

  • Pride keeps you away from good relationships.
  • Always saying good-bye.
  • Traveling everywhere.
  • Always feel like an outsider.
  • Lack of stability.
  • Not being there when your younger siblings are growing up, if you go to college in America.
  • Not being able to connect and feel like you’re a part of somewhere.
  • Not understanding American culture. Feeling “out of it.”
  • Home is ever changing.
  • Feeling misunderstood.

One MK said that she would never be truly home until she was in heaven. For me, home is where my husband is. It’s more the people that I’m with, rather than the physical location.

Can you think of any other pros and cons of being an MK?

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13 Responses to “Pros and Cons of Being an MK”

  1. Great vid! My husband was an MK. His parents ministered in Belize during the time they were separating from England.

    • Susan says:

      I’m surprised at how many people are MK’s! I know of a group of thousands of MK’s. I guess there are more missionaries in the world than I thought.

  2. Jenilee says:

    this is so interesting! we are just about to leave for the field and already, from traveling here and from being PKs already, my girls have experienced some of these things. loved your post!

  3. Hello Susan! I am from Guatemala!! and I can not say enough “Thank yous!” to you, your family, and so many missionaries, for coming to our country bringing the gospel to so many communities and helping us in so many ways.

    May The Lord bless you and your family greatly! Love your blog. What was the best memory you have from here and in which town or city did you lived?


  4. kazzie says:

    I’m moving to sri Lanka as a Mk in July I’m a homeschooled pastor’s kid and never fit in too well to start with at first I thought it was terrible but now it makes me happy because I don’t have as much to miss

    • Susan says:

      If you find other kids who don’t fit in either, sometimes that makes it easier because you have something in common with them. This is why I get along so well with other missionary kids; because they “get” me.

  5. kazzie says:

    Iv been to Guatemala before on a mission trip, Iv got a few friends there in huehuetenango. I liked panajachel a lot the view across the lake at the volcanoes is so cool at sunset 😀

  6. Sofia says:

    Hi Susan,
    I’m an MK from France and this year I’m leaving the country to go college in America. A few question I have are: what is it like for a MK college student to experience culture shock? Will I sometimes feel loenly from my family?

    • Susan says:

      You might feel lonely depending on how quickly you make friends. Try to reach out to other people, because friendships will help you to get established faster. Culture shock for me was that people expected me to act American, and I didn’t. Most people enjoyed the fact that I’ve lived other places in the world, so that makes you look exotic to other people. Eventually you start feeling more comfortable in American culture.

      • Sergio says:

        We have two sons that grew up overseas and are going right now to college in the US. The oldest attended a two-week-seminar organized by Barnabas ministries ( and is specifically for TCK’s, helping them with the transition to the US. That seminar made a great difference for our son to adapt to college in Fl. Our youngest son attends LeTourneau University in TX and this is a great place to be. They have a group that meets through the whole freshman year helping the TCK’s transition and during that time they develop a special bond with the other students involved. I would suggest to try to connect with other MK’s or TCK’s in your school and that will give you a great base to build relationships. If you can attend the seminar that Barnabas ministries organizes, it would be very helpful.

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