My name is Joel, and I have lived a divergent life; a life characterized by living in lands dissimilar to my homeland.  This is my story; a story about being a raised as a missionary kid in a foreign land with all of it’s benefits and pitfalls. It is a story about growing up; about finding ones identity when it is spread across the globe. It is a story about faith, family, marriage, parenting and friendship. It is our story of life.  But this is not just my story. This is a story of my parents, my siblings, my friends, and my kids… continued in the introduction.

Introduction – We introduce the series “a child in a foreign land” and talk about our purpose and goals for writing our families story down.

Parents – An introduction to my parents upbringings, how they met, their decision to get married, and un-expectantly starting their lives together in the Navy.

A Calling to Missions – While Dads’ faith and calling towards full time ministry is growing, Mom wrestles with handing over her dreams, finances, and future for a life of hardship serving God.

Midwest – My parents begin their journey to becoming missionaries by attending seminary, pastoring a small church, and trusting in the Lord’s provision for their needs.

Arriving in South Korea – We recount what it was like stepping off the plane and adjusting to life in a foreign land.

{South Korea} Language & Gender – What were the hardest aspects of an American family moving to South Korea?  Learning the language and the very different roles of men, women and children.

{South Korea} Our Ministry – Why were we sent to South Korea and what did we do as missionaries there?

{South Korea} Finding God in Hard Places – A serious accident in the kitchen lands me in a South Korean hospital with third degree burns and fading hope of survival, but God had a plan…

{South Korea} Memories of Church – Memories from a five year old boy about what it was like going to church, camps and trips throughout South Korea.

{South Korea} The Second House – The stories of moving into our second house and what our lives were like as children in South Korea.

{South Korea} Food – One of our great memories of South Korea was the food there and our memories of people we shared it with.

{South Korea} Safety & Security – Car accidents, North Korean fighters, medical care, vacationing on armed beaches and the benefits of experiencing hardships.

Globe Trotting Kindergartener – It was time for us to return home to the United States, but we went the long way around the globe, traveling through Europe.

Tourist in Your Home Country – An American child’s first impressions of America and adjusting to a new way of life.

Third Culture Kid – How does living in a different culture as a child affect you and your view of your home culture?

Settling In – As we begin to get used to life in America, we start to settle into life at our new schools, apartment and reconnect with relatives.

Lambert House – After two years with a family of five living in a two bedroom apartment, God opened the door for us to move into a three bedroom house and get a taste of normal American life.

Furlough Summers – What does a missionary family on furlough do during the summer on a tight budget?  Road trips, guest speaking, and being invited to attend camps by our generous supporters.

Seminary & Ministry – Why did we return for a four year furlough in Pasadena?  So that my Mom and Dad could attend Fuller Theological Seminary and earn their Masters and Doctorate degrees respectively.

Final Furlough Year – Our forth year marked a period of transition for our family.  Finishing studies, becoming teachers, new schools, new homes and preparing for the end of our stay in America.

Preparations & Plane Flights – Our family learns that we are being sent to the Philippines instead of back to South Korea, and we begin the process of preparing, packing and plane flights for our next missionary term.

Arriving in the Philippines – Finally arriving in the Philippines and our memories of the first few weeks adjusting.

Culture Shock – Stories of trying to figure out life and culture in the Philippines after our arrival.

25 thoughts on “Child in a Foreign Land

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