What do these have in common: a girl from Orlando who grew up in Hungary and Romania, another who was raised in Slovenia currently interning there with Cru, and a guy who grew up in Lesotho and Zimbabwe who does water engineering work in Iraq? They are all "missionary kids" with unique skills and experiences who traveled to the French staff conference to hold a special program for our own missionary kids - MK2MK. The team, as insiders who understand, helped the eleven children attending understand their uniqueness as third culture children. They delved into themes like coping with transition and processing through grief. Silas said, "It was nice to be with Christians who live out their faith, and super interesting to learn about a part of who I am." He also enjoyed their Bible study, specifically learning how the Bible has unity. Efrem says he learned "that you need to process through unresolved grief." These are weighty subjects! When we asked what they would say to a staff child who wasn't sure about attending Silas was quick to respond, "It's totally worth it, not only on the social level but also learning about who you are and who God is." As for Efrem, he was more practical with his advice - "You should go, but don't bring any snacks!" The team had brought a suitcase full of candy and t-shirts for the kids. We are so thankful for Katie, Sarah and Michael's willingness to travel to France, even taking their vacation time to serve our children in their unique way. MK2MK hosts missions trips specifically for these third culture kids, who are so uniquely suited to serve in foreign cultures. Maybe one day Silas and Efrem can participate!
Did you know that while your IQ is fairly locked in place from childhood, your emotional intelligence, EQ, can grow all your life! This was the theme studied at this year's French staff conference. Emotional intelligence is defined as the ability to understand your and others' emotions and how they affect what we do. Cain received the first emotional intelligence lesson in Genesis 4 when God asked him, "Why are you angry, and why is your face fallen?" Emotional intelligence affects how you see yourself, manage stress, make decisions and relate with others. One simple and eye opening suggestion was to pay close attention to our self-talk, the stream of thoughts constantly running through our mind. This is often more negative than positive and riddled with conjecture or untruths. Our self-talk is an important domain to allow the Lord's grace and truth shine! If we all grow toward emotional adulthood, our relationships would dramatically improve.