1 . 閱讀自學
2 . 三文四語訓練
3 . 度身訂造
宣子心底話 文／Chinny（珵） 翻譯／Jeanie
一個出生在馬戲團的孩子會以為所有人都是用手走路、在單輪車上邊吃邊玩雜耍。16 歲時我已曾在9 個城生活過，就讀過16 間學校，挺擅長倒空自己舊有熟悉的一套再自我模塑成新樣式。雖不明白當地語言，我卻能讀懂人家的身體語言；並能極速運用適當的話語及方式，加速被新羣體接納。這幾乎是我的超能力了。若問我曾否深深地渴求穩定？渴求一個真正能明白自己的人？這是無庸置疑的！無論如何，我已練就一身馬戲團伎倆。
我14歲時離家去接受更好的教育（編按：作者9 歲時與父母往泰南宣教，14 歲時回港繼續學業），這是我們一家作過最好的決定。以往因着語言障礙，我的學習像是束手綁腳；惟當我終能透徹明白課本內容，我內裏的學術激情被挑旺，學業突飛猛進。這樣年幼就離家意味着我需要成為自顧者，我爭取儘快成長、獨立，以免給正為神工作的父母添煩添憂。然而可悲的是，這種獨立性卻過度發展，令我無法尋找及接受他人幫助。
匱乏也是我的極大掙扎。自小我已經意識到宣教士沒多少錢。12 歲的我用餐時只會點選最便宜的，或說「不如回家吃吧」，更便宜嘛。16 歲的我已知縱然我擁有知識與聰明，痛心的卻是可能永無法實現理想，因家庭沒法負擔我上大學。爸媽常說「神必供應」，祂也確實有。我現正在一所全球享負盛名的大學念書，然而這城市的生活指數也極高。我必須承認，我永不會有爸媽那份對神「盲目」的信心。就是現在，我仍擔憂每年能否繼續學業，或是否需要更多工作以儲備足夠金錢，以防神有朝一日決定要試驗我。
My mind always envisioned the MK community as a troupe of circus performers. All the MKs I have had privilege to know are so extremely talented, have such distinct dazzling character, display maturity beyond their years, and most importantly, have made me feel as if I finally belong somewhere. They are great leaders, or masters in their art, or great explorers, every single one. Only in hindsight and in therapy have I began to uncover the wounds and old injuries that lie beneath our glamour. Dear reader, I write today not to blame or to pass on to you the burden of judgment. I only hope to be a honest reflection of the complexities of childhood. Perhaps this is my cry to be understood.
A child born into the circus thinks everyone walks on their hands and eats lunch on a unicycle while simultaneously juggling balls of fire. By the age of 16, I'd lived in nine cities and studied at sixteen different schools. Leaving behind everything I knew to mold myself into something new was all I ever knew. I became quite good at that. I read body language like a pro because I couldn't understand the local language. I was extremely quick to pick up the right things to say and the right way to say them in order to expedite my acceptance into each new community. It was almost a superpower really. Did I yearn deeply for some stability? For someone to truly know me instead of the short-lived surface interactions I'd become so good at? Absolutely! But at least I had my circus tricks.
At 14, I moved away from my parents so that I could access better educational opportunities, and it was the best decision we have ever made as a family. In our host country, I was going to school with one hand tied behind my back because of the language barrier. My inner academic went berserk when I could finally understand the textbooks, and I learned in leaps and bounds. Moving away at such a young age also meant I had to take on the role of my own care taker. I scrambled to grow up quickly - to be independent, so that I would bring my parents less worry in their work for God. Sadly, in my case, this independence has overdeveloped into an inability to ask for and accept help.
Scarcity is also something I struggled with hugely. From a very young age, I recognized missionaries do not have much money. 12 year old me would order the cheapest thing on the menu, would say “lets eat at home”, it was cheaper. And 16 year old me knew I had all this knowledge and intellect at my hands, but grieved that it may never be realized because we didn't have enough money to send me to college. My parents said often “god will provide” and he has. I am currently somehow affording one of the most prestigious universities in the world in a very expensive city. I admit however, I was never able to have my parents' blind faith in god providing. And even now, I worry each year about being able to continue my studies and work more hours than I need to to squirrel away what money I can for when god maybe decides to test me.
We missionary children have such unique experiences. The package comes with huge benefits and challenges, but who is without some childhood trauma? The mantra I find myself repeating most often nowadays is : that was then, this is now. As a child I had no control over my life and adapted as children do. Now, I am in control and have the power to break out of my old patterns. If you are a MK reading this, I only hope that this makes you feel a little more understood, a little seen. And if you are looking in from the outside, we want to be understood by you.