MK thoughts and experiences


A belated Happy Easter to all from Dar es Salaam!  I would tell you all about out Easter egg hunt except for the fact that....well, we didn't have one.  Weather reports have been telling people to stay indoors because of the rising temperature, so we ate our candy indoors.  In case you're wondering, the heat index of what the temperature feels along with the humidity has reached 120 degrees a couple of times.

For this blog post, I have a guest writer- Abigail Hile. She was an MK in South Africa since she was a baby, and grew up calling it her home country.  She and her two brothers were very active in the parents' mission work, but when Abigail was in her junior year of high school, they moved back to the States.

While she lived in South Africa, they were only a couple hours away from our family.  I saw her often, since we were on the same missions team.  I always enjoyed visiting them.  She was always the  cool, older MK that would spend time with the younger girls, and we all LOVED her.  We missed her a ton when she left South Africa.  

I'm very grateful that Abigail has taken some time out of her schedule to answer some questions about her experiences as an MK!

Abigail playing with other MKs at a team retreat.
 I'm in the maroon jacket.

Q: What was the hardest part about being an MK? 

A: "One of the most difficult parts of being an MK, for me, was saying goodbye. We would often say goodbye to churches when moving to a different ministry, we would say goodbye to our home and friends when we would head to the States for furloughs, and then we would say goodbye to family and friends in the States when we would go back to South Africa. Yet at the same time, I am thankful for the goodbyes because it has taught me how to say goodbye well, which is not something that many people can do."

Q: What was your favorite part about being an MK? 

A: "My favorite part about being an MK was the culture and travel aspects of it. I am incredibly grateful for the world of different cultures that I had the privilege of living around and being a part of on the mission field. That has also helped to reinforce the lesson that my parents always taught me - that the world does not revolve around me. I think that travel and awareness of other cultures helps people to see that the world is so much bigger than themselves."

Her family in Cape Town, South Africa

 Q: What did you think was the hardest to leave behind in South Africa? 

A:  "The most difficult thing to leave behind in South Africa was my family. My mom, dad, brothers and I developed incredibly close relationships with families there in South Africa, one family in particular, that became our family. I saw the mom and dad as an aunt and uncle and their kids as cousins, if not older siblings to my brothers and I. Leaving them behind in South Africa, by far, was the most difficult people to leave behind. They are still (and will forever) be near and dear to my family."

     I think this was also the hardest part for me to leave behind when we left South Africa.  I had the aunt that always tried to invite you over for crafts and serve you popcorn and cookies and soda.  I had the grandparents that would babysit us and feed us even more junk, and then take us out for ice cream.  I had the crazy uncle that thought he was still young enough to play sports with the teenagers. (Yes, Uncle Josh, if you are reading this, that's you)  I had the different pairs of great-aunts and great-uncles that fought over who got to steal my passport so I could stay in the country with them!  I had the aunt that would sit there and listen to my mom tell the story of making me do more chores for money to buy a book, and then promptly sneak some money to me when my mom wasn't looking.  I had the uncle that would squeeze me in a bear hug until my back cracked, the grandma that would kiss me and leave red lipstick all over my face, the cousins that you shared a love-hate relationship with.  It's not that you try to replace the family you have in you home country, it is that you have joined another family away from home.  But that is what makes that mission field your home away from home, thus making it so much harder to say goodbye.

 Many thanks to Abigail Hile for answering these questions.  And for those of you who are wondering, she is thriving in the States and is now in college.  I would love to hear from any MKs that are reading this!  Any funny stories of culture shock, furlough experiences, or stories that you would like shared, please email me!  My email is  If I get enough responses, I might be able to do a blog post just on cool stories from different MKs!   Thank you!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thanks Abby! Yes I did read this. I was at least decent...


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