Helping Without Borders

Students in the Springfield area that have grown up as missionary kids smile as they gather together. “If there was one thing I wanted students here to learn about being a missionary kid is that we may have lived in other places, traveled afar, grown-up differently than most normal high-schoolers, but we are still young men and women like all the other teenagers here in our school,” said Goodwin.

Photo used with permission from Grace James

Students in the Springfield area that have grown up as missionary kids smile as they gather together. “If there was one thing I wanted students here to learn about being a missionary kid is that we may have lived in other places, traveled afar, grown-up differently than most normal high-schoolers, but we are still young men and women like all the other teenagers here in our school,” said Goodwin.

Katie Wells, Writer

OHS is made up of students of different backgrounds. One topic that is fairly unknown to the students is what it is like to be a missionary kid.

Senior Grace James understands first-hand what it’s like to travel across the world and learn to adjust to an unknown area. James said, “We were missionaries to the Netherlands for eleven years. In those eleven years, it was full of going back and forth between the United States to raise money to help people in the Netherlands.” 

Elliot Goodwin, junior, also grew up traveling the world as a missionary kid. “Being a missionary kid has greatly affected me by giving a strong insight into other cultures. I’m a part of International Ministries so I get to travel to many different countries all over the globe. One of the coolest opportunities that I have is that I get to see a side of the world that kids my age don’t,” said Goodwin. 

Living in another country full of different religions and cultures brings along different traditions for the holidays. “Growing up it was almost like we had two holidays during Christmas-time. We of course celebrated Christmas, but there is another holiday that the Dutch celebrate that is called Sinterklaas,” said James.

Sinterklaas is all about the real story of a bishop named St. Nicholas who used to travel, and the children loved him. Children would leave their shoes outside of there door with a letter to show their appreciation for him and then he would leave a little gift. James said, “Every December 5th, my brother and I still leave out our shoes, and we normally get a chocolate letter.” 

This is all to show how special and unique each of us truly is. We all have a story, like St. Nicholas, or  James and Goodwin who have lived an extraordinary life already and sacrificed so many of their own comforts. It is stories like these that don’t get shared very often, but they deserve to be heard because these students are impacting the world.