I'm currently spending a rainy Saturday morning typing up an application for admission to Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (IN). Here's part of a response that relates to the theme of Forming Roots...
"List some of the formative influences in your life..."
When I was only a few months old, my family moved to Indonesia with Wycliffe Bible Translators. My mom worked with linguistics, and my dad was a bush pilot with JAARS, their missionary aviation division. We lived in Indonesia for 6 years. My earliest memories are of waking up to the sounds of the rainforest, eating sweet potatoes and roasted boar at village pig feasts, and playing games with our neighbor kids. Looking back, I think that these early childhood experiences implanted an interest in me for new places and different cultures.
Though I was only in Indonesia until age 6, I relate to the experiences of many missionary kids or “third culture kids” who have a hard time answering the question, “Where are you from?”. I have moved about 10 times throughout my 24 years, and these displacements have profoundly affected my life. On the one hand, I find it exciting to get to know a new place. I have become adaptable, and am good at making new friends. On the other hand, I have a hard time knowing what “home” feels like, and it's been difficult to integrate all the places and experiences into my present place. The search for home has become something of a spiritual question for me, and is a way that I emotionally understand the meaning of sin (being “lost”/ far from home), and the nature of the kingdom of God (a homecoming).