BIMI
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To feel like a foreigner in their parents' homeland is common among MKs. Yet, people around them have no idea how they feel. The MKs may hold blue US passports in their hands, but their hearts will often hold to a different color. Many people will say innocently, “Welcome home!” The MK is thinking home has never been farther away. Many MKs go to the States for their college education. Everyone treats them like they are home, like they belong, when in reality they are foreign students. When an Argentine or Colombian student commits a cultural faux pas, everyone passes it off by saying, “He's a foreign student, he doesn't understand.” When the MK does the same thing friends say, “What's your problem, why did you do that?” The emotions they experience such as confusion, disorientation or loneliness in a crowd of friends are almost universal among the MK “tribe.” They find it hard to explain to those who are mono-cultural. The emotions that cause such difficulty while studying are also some of the best catalysts for them to become second generation missionaries. They want to obey God and they feel His call to service. It is not so much that they can talk in a foreign language but that their heart speaks and feels that language. They will scour the city for some tiny corner restaurant where a little Paraguayan grandma makes “Bori-bori.” They “I stood and watched my mom clear security, wave one last time, then head for her departure gate. What in the world have I done? I am the biggest fool in the world! This will never work!” Such was my train of thought for the next few days as I became adjusted to the reality of living Stateside without my family. I had decided to return to America to prepare myself to better serve the Lord and I was officially terrified! That was nine months ago, and it has been a long process as I learned to pump my own gas, go shopping alone, make friends, stand up for what is right, and follow (or get lost following) my GPS. Something a little shocking to me was the “blending in” factor of American life. Here, I do not stand out at all (except for when I commit a social faux pas, then I get funny looks)!”— Sarah Beth Earnhart, BIMI missionary kid to Peru who studied in Pensacola, Florida 17