rebelling against low expectations

What Being a Missionary Kid Taught Me About Home


I have a very distinct memory of waking up on my fourth birthday on an airplane that was taking my family and me to Indonesia. We were leaving behind our home and our friends and our extended family to share the good news of Jesus Christ with a people that had never heard it.

In the eleven years we spent there, we didn’t get a house that actually belonged to us until we had lived there for five years. Once we finally got a house of our very own, we would spend three or four months on average in the village and then take a small airplane into the city where we would buy supplies in preparation for our next stint interior.

In addition to this constant moving back and forth, every three or four years we would head back to the States on a trip that was called our “Home Assignment,” which entailed traveling to different churches where my dad would speak in order to raise support.

What is “Home?”

Every time we left one place, whether the village or town or the United States, we were accompanied by a sad feeling of leaving home behind, but by the time we arrived at the next location, there was the excited feeling of, “We’re home.”

This confused me for quite some time. Why was it that when we left one place, it felt like we were leaving home, but when we got to another place, it felt as though we had arrived home? How could all these places feel like home at the same time?

Home is Where Our Family Is

I finally figured it out. It wasn’t just familiarity with the place that made us feel at home, although that was an aspect. Mostly it was that in each location we were living life with our family. I don’t simply mean our biological family, the people whom we are related to, but the spiritual family we met along the way.

God promises us in Matthew 12:29 that, “everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for My sake will receive a hundred times as much.”

My life is proof of that.

We found family members there in Indonesia that were of no ancestral relation to us at all, but through the blood of Jesus Christ, we were made into one family. One way we treated each other like family was by the kids calling the adults “Aunt” and “Uncle.”

Almost exactly one year ago, my parents sat down with my younger sister and me and told us that we were moving back to America and would not be returning to Indonesia. The transition back has been one of the hardest things I have gone through in my life. We’d left our native home and biological family once for the sake of the gospel, and now God had called us to leave our adopted home and spiritual family to return to the States.

Though this transition back has been hard, God’s promises have been a source of comfort. When we left the United States, we were given a new family in Indonesia. Now, coming back, God is doing the same thing again, as well as bringing us closer to our biological relatives.

Home is where your family is; whether that be your biological family, or the spiritual family that God gives you. Click To Tweet

Our True Home

I have come to realize that, since home is where our family is, then we can never truly be home unless we are with family—biological, adopted, or spiritual. Thankfully, God has created a perfect home for us in Heaven with room for whosoever would believe in Jesus and join His eternal family (John 3:16).

In Heaven, we will spend eternity with our spiritual family—no more goodbyes, no more separation, no more missing loved ones. Finally, the family of God will all be together in one place, with God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, forever, and it will be perfect.

That is the hope we have in Christ. That is the destination we long for and look toward. That is our true home where every believer will spend eternity together in the presence of God.

Heaven is our true home; there we will be with God, and our brothers and sisters in Christ, for eternity. Click To Tweet
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About the author

Noah Scherer

Noah Scherer is a sixteen-year-old young writer living in California, but who has spent the majority of his life living overseas in Indonesia as a missionary kid. He loves the art of storytelling and using the power of stories to reflect God's truths and God's Great Story.


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  • Such an incredible and inspiring piece, Noah! I haven’t seen you since your Barney’s were at Bible school and you were still growing inside your mother’s womb! Praise the Lord for your testimony and the testimony of your parents. Praying for you as you continue to write and desire to be obedient and faithful.

  • An accurate explanation of the Mystery of Home. I struggled with this for a long time and finally realized the same conclusion. Ultimately this world is not our home, but there are bits of our home here. It is our brothers and sisters who give us that sense of belonging – and longing – for the Home to come. Until then, build each other up and do not lose heart!

  • Great article, Noah! I am myself an MK in the Dominican Republic, and I have often thought about this topic as well. Very well said.

  • Noah, I think I knew you….You look very different (but same smile), but I still have a vivid memory of you, your dad, and a poster to take into the tribe at the Guest House in Sentani.
    Also, great article! I went through the exact same thing until I realized I was trying to be a MK for myself, not for God. Now I want to go back–but for God’s glory, not my own.

    • Ezra! I remember you! It is good to hear from you, brother! I myself have often thought of going back to the mission field to proclaim the Gospel to others. We have the greatest news ever received, and I can think of no higher calling than to go and proclaim that news to those who have not heard.

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →