Each year thousands of children affectionately called “MKs,” short for “missionaries’ kids,” attend Christian schools scattered throughout exotic places like Vienna, Austria; Nairobi, Kenya; Tokyo, Japan; Quito, Ecuador; Moscow, Russia; and Manila in the Philippines. The parents of these MKs are serving God as foreign missionaries, obeying His command to go and make disciples in all nations, to baptize them and to teach them to observe all the commandments of Jesus.
Special Christian schools, known as “MK schools” have been established around the world in sixty countries to provide a Christ-centered education for the children of missionary parents living outside their home country. MK schools come in all sizes, from one room with a few students to a large complex of modern, well-equipped buildings for hundreds of students.
MK schools are located not only in major population centers of the world, but also in remote locations. Some schools have served missionary families for more than a century, while others will open their doors to students for the first time this year. Whatever the size or location, the MK school is part of God’s provision for missionary families who make significant contributions to the building of His Kingdom.
Teachers and boarding home parents in MK schools are missionaries. Using their teaching skills and parenting skills in the MK schools, they join with the team of Bible translators, evangelists, and church planters to help fulfill the Great Commission. These teachers, who are usually sent out by a mission board, trust God to supply their financial support for travel and a living allowance.
The MK school is a unique learning environment. While most MK schools follow a North American curriculum, they also adapt that curriculum to the local culture and make adjustments for MKs from other nations. This provides an international educational program for students who already have a rich cultural experience.
Most MKs are fluent in a second language, possess cross-cultural skills that others strive a lifetime to develop, and have a “special” knowledge of the world they have experienced. Their view of God is often highly developed because they have seen God at work in impossible situations in their parents’ ministry. Some research indicates their level of maturity is two to three years beyond that of their monocultural counterparts when they enter college.
Because some missionaries minister in remote locations, their children may need to live at the MK school in boarding homes with a special set of substitute parents who are often referred to as “aunt” and “uncle.” Teachers and boarding parents are keenly aware of an “added dimension” to their ministry as they care, not only for the MK, but also for the missionary family.
Each year hundreds of Christian school administrators, teachers, boarding home parents and support staff are needed in the overseas setting to provide quality care and education for the MK. MK schools are looking for personnel who are willing to consider an open-ended commitment to this important ministry in missions.
In addition to the need for career personnel, there are opportunities in ministry for teachers in early retirement, those on sabbatical leave, and short-term replacements for career personnel who are on furlough. The opportunities are unlimited.
Teachers are generally expected to meet the following qualifications:
Some background in Bible study and a Christian philosophy of education
A degree in education from an accredited program and/or a valid teaching certificate
Two years of successful teaching experience
A sense of God’s leading to a cross-cultural ministry
A willingness to trust God for living and transportation expenses
A sincere commitment to fulfill God’s will
The Scripture tells us that the voice of the Lord came to Isaiah saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8). God has chosen to use His people to carry the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Thousands of missionary families have responded to the Lord with the same enthusiasm as Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me.”