Most people who grew up in the church are familiar with “PK,” or “Preacher’s Kid.” Those who grew up in a Southern Baptist church and were active in Mission Friends, GAs, or RAs know that an MK is a missionary kid. However, very few know what an “MP” is (no, I’m not referring to Military Police). Mike and Tracie Klepac and Hal and Marti Richardson know first-hand what an MP is. Both couples have a child who is serving as a missionary on the other side of the world. They are Missionary Parents.
Eastmont has been faithful to pray for and support our missionaries, but what about those who remain behind? Eastmont members are likely familiar with Mike and Tracie’s daughter, Lauren, who grew up at Eastmont and who is now serving with her husband, Jamie, inSouth Asia through the International Mission Board, facilitating church planting and equipping pastors in those churches. Hal and Marti’s son, Clay, who also grew up at Eastmont, is working with college students in London through Campus Outreach, as well as being involved in church planting through the London Project.
Gene Kim had an opportunity recently to sit down with each couple to talk to them about their unique perspective on missions as parents of missionaries. The Richardsons shared how their “introverted and shy boy” developed a spiritual hunger and thirst in high school to be discipled and then to disciple others. They shared the joys of seeing his excitement about how God is using him, but also the difficulties that most people don’t think about. They had to trust God when he had Covid over Christmas last year, realizing they could not get to him because of travel restrictions. “Is it hard? Yeah, it’s hard,” said Marti, but they would not change anything.
Mike and Tracie share many of the same experiences and feelings. Mike said when they were first told about Jamie and Lauren’s call to international missions it was a bit of a surprise and took a “mental adjustment,” realizing they would not get to experience everyday life with them. While it is very difficult to be so far away from their daughter, son-in-law, and their first grandchild, they find “joy in sharing in the excitement when they experience the gospel being effective.”Tune in to our social media the week of November 1st or visit our website ateastmont.org/blog to watch the full interviews and to hear first-hand about their unique experience with missions.