by Hannah Largent (not her real name). Hannah is 12 years old. She and her family have lived in two Arab countries for a total of 6 years.
As a third culture kid, I find opportunities to live dead, to live for God, that I would not have if I lived in America. I can sacrifice for God just by being away from my grandparents, aunts, and uncles. By where I live I can live truly for God by doing what he asks me to do with my Muslim neighbors, just like everyone can share with everyone who is around them.
When people think of living dead they go to their extremes, like leaving their family behind and moving somewhere faraway, or starting this huge organization for God. Doing those things rock, but there are other things that we can do, just as important. For me it can be not to fight with my brothers, not to complain about doing the dishes every night, to be a witness to my neighbors, or to concentrate on learning Arabic.
My family is studying Arabic, and I have heard only one student ever say it was easy. I have no proof [with my Arabic ability] that I have been here for a year. During Arabic class I often find myself looking at the clock, and thinking I’ll never be able to speak Arabic fluently and wishing I could just give up and walk away. My Arabic teacher is Muslim. I often think of how she sees my life and how I behave. If I behave in a way that would bring God glory she could decide to become a Christian from what she sees in how my family lives. Or I could fight with my brothers and not pay any attention at all, and she would not be able to see the love of Jesus in me. Learning Arabic is not fun, but for me it is worth it, because it will make my family’s life easier in the Arab world, and wherever I go I hope I will be able to use it to tell people about Jesus.
There is a ten year old girl that lives downstairs in an apartment below us. Her mom, brother, and little sister have moved out and most of the time live somewhere else. She does not speak English, which is always quite frustrating for me, and it is quite funny to try to communicate with her. For me to live dead is to keep on trying to reach out to her. I don’t like to talk much, and being around her I have to practice my Arabic with her more than I feel like doing.
Going to the field was my parents’ decision; nothing I could have done would have changed that; but because of their decision I want to be a worker* someday. Despite the sacrifices of living in a country that doesn’t speak English, my grandparents don’t live here, locals don’t like my dog, and there’s no free American soda refills at restaurants, I know living dead is worth it, because Jesus is worth it, and it is what he wants me to do.