MK Safety Net

Please read these amazing essays, letter and stories from MKs who went through this long before we did.

A Petri Dish for Abuse.

The Children

“The second component in the Petri dish was the child, now known as missionary kids, or MKs.  The first seven years of life were almost idyllic – Mom and Dad close by, room to run and play, friends on hand.  At age seven, however, everything changed.  At age seven the MK was sent away to a boarding school, often several days’ travel away, for nine months out of the year.  Letters from home arrived but all letters back to Mom and Dad were read before they were dispatched.  The seven year old had to be fully self-sufficient, able to dress him/herself, take care of personal hygiene, maintain his or her room and clothes, do homework independently while responding to bells throughout the day heralding the next required activity – meal times, classes, homework time, prayer time, bed time, lights out time.  (One former MKs counts 17 bells each and every day.)  Many schools limited contact between siblings.  The goal was to make these little ones independent and to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible.  There was not enough time to pay individual attention even to the youngest in the dormitory.

The moment of separation from parents was painful and wrenching for both parent and child.  The expectation, however, was that neither parent nor child would cry. To treat the moment with sadness was taken for resistance to God’s will.  For the child the separation created a sense of total abandonment.  For a seven year old, previously held close in a nurturing home environment, the abandonment could feel so extreme as to engender a fear for life itself – how was the child going to survive?  But, survive they did, for the life force in the human being is very strong.  Some children acted out by demonstrating neediness; some cried all the time; some developed a covert way to get what they needed; others simulated being strong by bullying others; some grew into the perfect boy or girl who was above reproach while suppressing all need, creativity and self-expression and others rebelled and paid dearly for it.”

From The Role of Parents

There seems to be a major contradiction built into a missionary subculture whose whole reason for existence is to go around the world and “shout from the rooftops” that non-Christians are sinners and need to confess and repent. Yet when “sin is found within the camp”, the response so often is dead silence. As one MK victim stated so well: “my parent’s mission board was dedicated to two things: the Great Commission and the Great Cover-up!”

More Essays.         Letters from missionary parents.              MK Memoirs.

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