Tag Archives: MK’s

MK Essay – Votes Needed!

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We missionaries fiercely band together to root each others’ kids onward to success and victory.

I’m writing this post and sharing the essay below for that precise reason: to help  a missionary kid in Europe win a scholarship.

I voted for him and ask you to do the same. The link to vote is below his essay.

But treat yourself while you’re at it…by reading the essay! Not only is he a good writer, you’ll get a glimpse of M.K. life from his perspective, both the challenges and the triumphs.

And when you’re done reading and voting, pause and pray for him and for missionary kids around the world.

Because they are awesome!


My name is Stephen Gracza and I am a American missionary kid living in Budapest, Hungary where I was born. I have been integrated into the Hungarian cultural and educational systems since Kindergarten. At home I speak English with my family, but everywhere else I communicate in Hungarian.

Growing up overseas has enriched my life in many ways. Being bilingual since childhood has enabled me to live in two cultures at the same time, American and Hungarian. Europe is made up of many different cultures and traditions. Most European countries share a border with at least three or four other countries, which impacts their individual countries and communities. Due to the number of languages spoken in Europe, students are required to learn two foreign languages during their high school years. This has given me the opportunity to become conversational in German and Spanish.

I have visited Finland, Germany and Spain with my Hungarian high school through participation in student exchange programs. These experiences have greatly improved my foreign language skills. My parents work has allowed me to see all of Europe. I have met people from varied ethnicities and religious backgrounds. It has given me a broader view on life and the people who live around me, enabling me to be sensitive of their needs and traditions.

In general, European opinion of Americans is that they have been granted more possibilities in life and have an easier road. I have had to forge my own way and be determined since I was little to work against this negative stereotypical thinking. In Kindergarten my teacher did not want me to take part in our class play, because she believed I had an accent. In Junior high school I was given fewer opportunities and then told; “You are American and Hungarians have fewer opportunities in life”.

I have had to be dedicated and determined to be granted the same possibilities. I have grown firm but not aggressive. I am currently my class’ Vice President, my high school’s student body representative and team captain for both my school’s men’s Field Hockey team, and Track and Field team.

I feel that struggling against the preconceived understandings about Americans has enabled me to cultivate a lifestyle of tolerance and determination.


Click HERE to vote!

Voting ends June 30, 2014, so please don’t put it off ’til mañana.




Praying for Prodigal MK’s, Part Two

In my last post (click here) I asked for missionary parents to leave names of their prodigal children for whom they would like prayer. Below is the list of names left either in the comment section of that post, or via private messages on FB.

You can’t choose Christ for your kids, but you can pray that they choose Christ. And I’ve met far too many children who have come to Christ because their parents prevailed in prayer, sometimes for decades, to believe God for anything less. What other option do we have? To pray or not to pray – these are the only options.                                 – Mark Batterson, Praying Circles Around Your Children

Join your voice with mine – and with that of each parent of these children – in lifting up these names before the throne of God; pray God’s promises as the Spirit leads you for:


daughter (anonymous)







Amen! I look forward to testimonies of answered prayer, don’t you?

One word of advice to parents of prodigals: form a prayer circle with other parents. Covenant to pray for each other’s children. Why parents? Because no one can pray for children like parents! Empathy fuels intercession. We need to stand in the gap for one another or, maybe I should say, kneel in the gap. – M.Batterson, Praying Circles Around Your Children




Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals founder Judy Douglass’ Prayer for My Prodigal

Loving a Prodigal free e-book

Praying for Prodigal MKs

June 2 is the Worldwide Day of Prayer for Prodigals.

loving-a-prodigal_learning-to-rest-224x300When I saw author, missionary, and fellow member of the Redbud Writers GuildJudy Douglass, post a link on Facebook concerning this day of prayer she launched, I felt prompted to get involved.

Though I don’t have a prodigal, I feel a burden to join in praying on Sunday specifically for prodigal MKs (missionary kids). Because I am a missionary, other missionaries are like family.

Because I am a missionary, I understand the unique challenges of transitioning to and living in a cross-cultural context. And as hard as it can be for us as adults who sense the call and go obediently, some of our kids don’t deal well with it and upon leaving the nest may also abandon the faith, make bad (usually harmful) choices, live wildly, or simply fall apart as they struggle with various issues and search for identity and purpose in life.

Many parents pray, wait, hope, and watch for their prodigal to return; to hear their voice, to run to embrace them, to weep on their neck. Yet when thousands of miles separate parent from prodigal, often with little to no communication, that pain is multiplied.

Those missionaries fighting spiritual battles on the front lines often fight the hardest battle within. Broken hearts, deflated spirits, guilty feelings, empty arms.

Let’s pray!

Dear missionary mom or dad of a prodigal, we want to pray for your prodigal!

I invite you to please leave a comment with the name of your son or daughter, and any other information you feel safe to share. You can remain anonymous, if you so choose, though we would like to know in what corner of the world you serve and/or with what mission.

Dear reader, if you are not a missionary parent of a prodigal, I ask that you join us in prayer. Please leave a comment letting us know that you will pray.

Let’s lift these loved ones to the Lord!

The prayer of the righteous has great power as it is working!

James 5:16


Read Judy’s blog posts on Loving a Prodigal.

Download her free Loving a Prodigal e-books.

Contentment – a rare commodity


Today our oldest son turns 24. This post, about him, was written and blogged several years ago, during his first year of college. (He is now into his second year of post-grad studies while serving part time on staff at Harvest Ridge Assembly of God). I felt it deserved to be shared again today, on his birthday:


We recently chatted with our oldest son and my husband asked him how he was doing. He said he’s doing well, excited about soccer and loves it at college. This, to my mom’s heart, was soothing – and it was about to get better.

My husband, Mr. Philosophical, then asked, “Are you happy with yourself?”

“Well, in some ways, no,” my son answered.

He went on to explain that when it comes to certain areas of life – study, sports, character, etc. – he doesn’t settle for where he’s at but rather pursues improvement. This I can accept. Then he went on and said something that surprised me; something that is rarely heard: contentment.

“The other day I was with the soccer team, and in my head I went through all the guys, including my five best friends, and decided I would rather be me than any of them.”

Really? I thought, my brows furrowing. It took a while for my heart and mind to wrap around those words, for my mind instantly raced through memories, stopping briefly along the way at sundry moments in our life; in his life.

First, my mind flashed to the day we moved him into his college dorm room: he with one box, one suitcase, (those two holding basically everything he owned), plus a few linens and things from Target. Half an hour after our arrival, his roommate boisterously came tumbling in  with nearly a dozen extra large packing boxes filled with room decor, clothes for every season, various new electronic gadgets we’d never heard of, a new mini fridge, and bragging rights about everything his parents went out and bought him those past few days.

I stood there, a serrated pang of guilt cutting deep.

I was sure my son wished he could be in that kids shoes. Less than a year earlier, on the mission field, our lives were turned upside down and we lost almost everything we owned because of a medical emergency that forced us quickly back to the USA. Our son, too, lost so many things that were precious to him. And there was no replacing most of those things – for any of us.

Then my thoughts turned to the fact he has no car and therefore obligated to work in the campus library for minimal pay while his friends have awesome paying jobs at the mall or at busy restaurants, bringing in hundreds of dollars per week.  Their parents bought them cars before going to college. My son has asked if there was anyway we could help pay for a car and insurance, too. “Sorry”, we told him, “there’s no possible way.”

Among the rapid and impromptu thoughts came another one: his new friends don’t get stressed when it comes to break time from college, be it fall break, holiday, or summer vacation. They go “home” and hang with their social circle there, be it church, work, or former high school buddies. Our son has to figure out where he can go – and although his grandparents open their home, bless their heart – once there he really doesn’t have any social life, or again, his own vehicle in which to get around.

Certainly at times like that he must have wished to be like his friends, having grown up in the U.S. and being able to return to the familiar.

So how, I wondered, with less material possessions and a life that’s not the norm, can he say he’d rather be himself? How could he be so content when I feel guilty for not being like the rest of the college parents?

My husband had always told our kids that contentment is a great gift that few ever possess, and that people are drawn to content people. My oldest son concurred with both those statements.

I learned another important lesson from that: I need to not only be content for myself, but also be content on behalf of my kids; I need to quell these female and motherly notions I entertain – these guilty feelings of not having done or given enough.

My son has a rare commodity indeed – contentment. God’s grace has brought him to that place in his life and I pray God’s grace will keep him there. It will take him far in life.

Godliness with contentment is great gain.” I Tim. 6:6


Happy Birthday, Michael! We love you and are proud of you!