The Fajardo Reyes family lives in Honduras, but is raising support to minister in Spain. The family’s preparation for this work included a move to Guatemala to receive theological training. In Honduras, they have been planting a church in a high-risk area of their city — but they are eager to arrive in Spain, where they’ve seen entire cities without a single evangelical church. Their daughter, Valeria, 16, wrote today’s winning essay about the saying, “You can never go home again.”
By Valeria Fajardo Reyes — I have the honor of living in a family whose center is God. Since I was a little girl, my parents had taught me that serving the Lord is something marvelous and that we must do it with all the love and faith possible.
Matthew 22:14 says, “For many are called, but few are chosen.” At that time and at that age, I did not understand very well what that passage of the Bible meant and the huge responsibility in my hands. My whole family and I were chosen to serve the Lord in missions.
I was 6 years old when it all started. My parents answered to the Lord’s call and they were willing to do everything that came with it. Every new challenge, we were going to face it with the help of our God.
To fulfill the Lord’s call, we had to move to the beautiful Guatemala, the Land of the Eternal Spring, for four years. We moved there because my Dad needed to study theology in order to become a pastor and to accomplish all the requirements a missionary needs to complete.
It was hard for me to let go of my family, my friends, and the hardest ones to let go of, my grandparents. But I was convinced the Lord wouldn’t let us go by ourselves and that he would guide every step of the journey.
In fact, Guatemala is almost the same as Honduras, some little things change, but as always the cultural impact may affect us in a good way and in a bad way as well. In all the time I was in Guatemala, God provided every single thing that we needed and we never suffered anything. We could see God’s care for us every day of those four years, which were nourishing for our spiritual life and life experiences.
There is a saying, ”You can never go home again and if you do, things will be different.” Well, of course they will be different, people change, you change. You are not the same person who left, you have different interests now. In this process, you will know new people and you will have phases in your life that will be the ones that will build your character.
When I came back from Guatemala to Honduras, it was kind of hard for me to fit in. My siblings and I spent a hard time meeting new people, making new friends, and adjusting to a new way of life. It was hard for us to leave behind everything that we had built. But we did it once, for the Lord, so we will do that as many times as he commands.
Putting God first has given us favor towards people, and in our school we were able to be our true selves and we were able to testify to the marvelous things God made.
I wanted to write this essay to encourage every missionary son and daughter, and every other kid who had to leave their country to pursue another dream, and to testify about the wonderful things God has given me. This essay is not about me, and how I felt, it is about what God did and will do again to every and each child who is moving from their homeland to pursue another dream or call.
One of the things I learned in this process and in this beautiful life is that, YOU are not alone, God is with you in every step. And family, family is wherever you and your loved ones are. God bless you!
More about third culture kids
- 10 ways to get elementary MKs talking: We all want visiting MKs to feel safe and loved — but sometimes the questions we ask get in the way. Here are some questions to ask, and some to avoid.
- When going to college means leaving your culture: Great advice for college-age MKs: Come with an open attitude and be a student of culture, just like you would anywhere else.
- These folks can guide college-age MKS through their cultural confusion: Through the MK Harbor program, volunteer ‘cultural coaches’ support MKs as they deal with grief, navigate their new surroundings and need a listening ear.
- TCK essay contest winner: ‘I Belong’: After spending most of her life in Macedonia, third culture kid doesn’t feel at home anywhere on Earth — but knows she belongs with God.
- TCK essay contest winner: God’s faithful, even when we’re friendless: The three-day conference felt like two weeks — but the lessons learned endure to this day.
- Pray for missionary children: A daily prayer guide for the little ones on the field.