Thankfully, my English classes are taught by Americans. Most Czech schools don’t have this privilege! I have actually learned a lot in and through my English classes.
If I think about it, the only things I know about American history, I know from movies, my uncle (he likes to “enlighten” me about my “homeland”), from listening to random conversations, and from my English classes in Czech school. It’s sad how little I know about American history! Ask me about the Premyslovci, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or Communism, and I (hopefully) will have something to say. But ask me about the Alamo or the Civil War, and I won’t be very helpful.
Like I said though, thankfully, I have American teachers! Part of Maturita (a European final exam at the end of high school) is an oral exam in English. We have to talk about all sorts of topics, including some about American culture and history. So I am learning, alongside my Czech classmates! (You should be proud, Uncle Mike!)
Some people might be concerned that I don’t know a lot (don’t worry, I’ve visited many times, and have internet, so I know some!) about my own country. But truth be told, I can’t say that American history feels like my history. On the other hand, Czech history doesn’t feel like my personal history either.
I brought this dilemma up with my dad after seeing the movie Lincoln a little while back. Dad is also a former Missionary Kid, so he understood how I felt! What he told me in response totally altered my thinking about “my” history. He reminded me that my lineage is in Christ. I may not belong fully to one culture or another, but I DO belong to God, and am a part of His family!
In talking about this, Dad referenced Israel. He’s right, when I was there, I felt this truth – my heritage is here! I walked around with such excitement and anticipation, knowing that THIS is where God’s work began. This is where the first Christians were born!
When I realized all these things, I felt so much better. We all love to “belong” somewhere, and as a Missionary Kid, sometimes it’s hard figuring out where you belong! But knowing that my citizenship is in heaven, and that is my eternal home, is so comforting.
I’m thankful my English classes don’t only consist of history, grammar and conversation exercises, but that we also have Bible class once a week.* I love learning about all those other things, but what I love most is learning about God’s history, and understanding who I am through Him.