Following your parents overseas

Theo Milson and Sofia Oden

Theo with his mum Nicky

I live in Valencia, Spain with my mum, dad, sister Jemima and dog Koda. I see us as missionaries together so I feel that we are a team. I think it’s an important job to do anywhere you live because people need to hear the truth about Jesus – that he came to rescue us. I hope that people will be interested and hear the good news about him.

I like living in Valencia. There is a massive festival called 'Las Fallas' in March, where everyone uses fireworks and burns huge statues. I like the weather (except when it’s really hot!), tapas (my favourites are squid and patatas bravas) and school, which is a British school. We’re here with two other missionary families, which is really fun. It’s sad that I don’t see my grandparents, cousins, aunts or uncles very much.

When we left the UK, it was difficult leaving friends behind and moving to a country where I couldn’t understand people. It’s hard work learning another language when you’re older (I’m now 13 and started learning when I was 10) and I find it frustrating that I can understand more than I can express. However, I am now able to communicate better with people around me, which means I don’t feel like such an outsider. Things are more accessible now I can speak more Spanish and I have some Spanish friends. I can also understand more at church and so I can join in more.

Theo Milson

I've mostly always loved having missionary parents. There are ups and downs that come with being a missionary kid but on the whole it has been a massive blessing.

We moved to Naples, Italy in 2013 and the first three years were really hard. As a family, we struggled with not having any 'roots' down, we hugely missed family and friends and the English language and culture (although eating pizza and ice cream the whole time was less of a struggle!). Personally I found it hard not to constantly pine for England and whenever English people visited it was hard saying goodbye.

However as a family we have experienced Matthew 19:29 first hand: 'And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.' Now, seven years later and by God's grace, we are more bonded as a family, we have Christian brothers and sisters and friends in Naples and feel very much settled and at home.

I'm now 16 and it is a huge privilege and blessing to attend a Christian boarding school in England. The irony is that I am now longing for Naples! But one of the things I've really felt God has taught me over the past few years is that my home is in heaven and I will never feel completely at home on earth whether I'm in Naples or in England. 

Being a missionary kid has prepared me for all sort of things, the most important of which is trying to tell people the good news about Jesus. You don't need to be in a foreign country to be a missionary – as Christians we're all on the mission field in our day-to-day lives. It's been amazing to see God working in the lives of people here at school. 

For me, Psalm 121:8 has been a great anchor over these past seven years: 'The LORD will watch over your coming and going now and forevermore.'

Sofia Oden

Find out how Crosslinks supports mission partner children

We understand moving overseas can be difficult so are committed to supporting the children of mission partners as they prepare to go. 

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