You wanna see a funny look?

Ask a military teen, “Where are you from?”

It really seems simple enough, but it’s a tough question for military kids. The following was recently posted on a former club kid’s facebook: “I was born in Minnesota. I live in North Dakota. I have a Hawaiian area code for my phone number. My driver's license is from Washington. And the car I use has Texas plates. What am I suppose to say when people ask where I'm from?”

Military families move every 2-3 years on average, so their sense of identity and belonging to a certain place is lacking. As another teen put it, “Military brats aren’t from anywhere.” But with frequent moves, loss becomes inevitable for the military child. Once a child has lost so many homes, friends, and pets, they begin to keep their distance to lessen the trauma of the loss. One teen asked, “If I’m never going to see you again, why bother getting close?”

This is the challenge in reaching military teens with the Gospel. Staff and leaders with Club Beyond must be intentional about loving kids and building relationships with them to earn the right to share Christ with them. In doing so, we give them something permanent to hold onto, and introduce them to Someone they can trust to not let them down. What’s interesting is that at one point, this Someone was also asked, “Where are you from?” (John 19:9), and His response (silence) was similar to what you’d get from a military kid. Jesus’ identity was not in Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, or even Galilee, but in His relationship with the Father. This is the identity that our military families need. "I belong, but I belong nowhere, like every other military brat."  "I left one place knowing I was going to another place just to leave it."

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