Our ministry spotlight this month focuses on shame being turned to honor. This is an open-hearted letter form a Pastor’s Kid who grew up in the MENA region:
Growing up as a Pastor’s Kid (PK), it was a privilege which allowed me to see things from a different perspective, especially the world of ministry and God.
PK’s are persecuted differently and sometimes in a tough area: you don’t just get to see people coming to faith, you also get to hear and see the hardship they face. And from that you get to see the adversity of the people you adore and whom you know respects the Lord.
Sometimes in a culture of honor and shame, we tend to focus more on the shame side. Watching persecutors insult and humiliate the person you love as a child, is heartbreaking. I remember some of the Pastors we worked with in the Middle East over the last few years, watching the fathers (pastors) being beaten up and send back to their homes. These Pastors stood before their children and wives, completely shameful from being physical beaten. When you are physically beaten you lose your dignity and feel worthless and unworthy. Society looks down at you as a man of no honor. But I remember those fathers (pastors) never gave up what they were doing for Christ, they went back again, and did the same thing for the gospel, over and over.
My appeal is that we need to pray for the PK children from this perspective. My prayer is that they will not get stuck in the dishonor that was forced upon their fathers, but they will get to see beyond that, which is the commitment and love of their fathers to the God they love and worship. I pray that those kids don’t see the dishonor, but they see the honor of sacrifices for the God that sacrificed it ALL. That miracle-working God will make out of those PK’s, international men and women who can carry the cross to follow in the footsteps of their fathers, as they followed the footsteps of Christ.
I will never forget when I saw my Dad, walking away to the most dangerous situation we were facing in our life. I could not sleep for days, I begged my Dad not to go, stressed, tears running down my cheeks I begged God to change my Dad’s mind. My dad’s words before he walked away was “John, this is our pleasure and joy that God Almighty would allow us to experience a tiny glimpse of what He had to go through, this is a treasure for us that He allows us to have a taste of what He has gone through.” Hebrews 12: ‘who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God’.
May those Pastor’s Kids see this shame turned into honor in their lives!