Five Things Missionary Kids Need to Know About Their Feet

MK Feet SmallLet’s face it, MK friends. Most of you have feet that wouldn’t win you any foot modeling jobs. (How do people get into that line of work anyway?) But your feet are my favorite kind in the world. And here is why…

1. They are dirty. Gloriously gross in the most grimy-toed, stained-soled, freedom-proclaiming way. Your bare feet are unafraid of mud and rocks and rain and dust, and you just GO, feeling the warmth and texture in every step.

2. They are knowledgeable. Your feet navigate airport security lines and busy city streets as easily as they carve a path between market stalls and run up the road to a friend’s house. They know the world really is a small place, because they’ve stood toe-to-toe with precious people from all over, people you couldn’t imagine your life without.

3. They are fun. Your feet run hard, dance wild, climb trees and trails, kick soccer balls, pedal bikes, jump on trampolines, swim with laughing children glistening dark under the sun, and find mischief your parents won’t want to know about for years to come.

4. They are fearless. You are willing to step forward and plant your feet on ground most people would consider too risky to tread. Your feet have walked through days in a lot of wildly different places, and you know that wherever you go, life is just life, and people are just people.

5. They are secure. You, beautiful people, are standing solid. Not because your legs are strong and your feet aren’t tired, not because you know where you’re headed. But because you are held tight by the God who called your family overseas, the same God who is with you here and wherever life takes you.


Photo Credit:  Stephanie Ernandes.  Used with permission.


  1. Lenny Robertson
    Jun 5, 2015

    The only reason to wear flipflops is because my mother said I had to to avoid ringworm. So I grew adept at pulling up bunches of clean grass to wear in my flipflops when it was slippery or muddy. Ever have to try and find your flipflop in the mud and pull it out before? Ever temporarily fix a flipflop with a large safety pin to keep the toepiece in place?

    • Rachel
      Jun 7, 2015

      We always had to wear flip-flops growing up in Sierra leone so we didn’t get hookworms. As a kid I figured as long as I walked fast enough the hookworms wouldn’t have time to get me. Our flip flops always got fixed with safety pins until they entirely fell apart and then we’d walk to the market and get a new pair.

  2. Tim
    Jun 5, 2015

    When I was in college, I tried to fly from KC to Dallas barefoot. Fortunately the issue came up at check-in before my suitcase had been sent down the belt, and I was able to get my shoes out.

  3. Pam
    Jun 6, 2015

    Thanks for this encouragement. Sometimes we need to be reminded that the experiences we’ve had make us better than we’d be if we hadn’t had them. So often we just feel out of place. On subject of feet, I gladly risked hookworm, etc. to be able to keep up with my barefoot Indonesian friends. I’m 52 and still feel more comfortable barefoot, although my feet are considerably softer now.

  4. Brit
    Jun 8, 2015

    This was a beautiful post and a great reminder that there are other people in the world that have had similar experiences as we have… it’s easy to forget that when you are surrounded by people who haven’t lived out of their home country. I work in an office now and, whenever I work late and everyone else is gone, I always take off my shoes and walk around barefoot. It just feels right!

  5. Lupe Geiss
    Jun 10, 2015

    How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of JESUS!

  6. Barefoot Aaron
    Jun 10, 2015

    I’ve lived my entire life barefoot. My youngest daughter literally follows in my barefoot steps. Never had ringworm or anything else even after living on 4 continents. My blog is called barefoot mission journal on typepad.

    I can’t testify enough about the open doors and serving opportunities that came out of such a simple thing as being barefoot. The humility born from naked toes can’t be taught. It needs to be lived. When I am forced to wear flip flops or ….shoes….yech….I feel so disconnected and detached. Pebbles and sand and muck and grass are a part of my makeup. I’ve walked barefoot in London and New York. Africa, Australia, Belize and now in Costa Rica. I can stand barefoot on the blacktop that others can’t even run across without shoes. Rocks and thorns? Don’t make me laugh. Bring it on world. I will crush the Devils head….barefoot.

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