Missionary kid, Tucker Lehman, explains life growing up in Mexico and views on faith

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The Color Purple 2023

Tucker Lehman has experienced life through a unique lens. From childhood to adulthood, Tucker has grown into the person he is today having lived in a different country. Tucker was a missionary kid, meaning his family lived outside of the country to pursue their church. Tucker started his journey in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he was born. He was raised in Loveland, Colorado his first 12 years, when he and his family moved to Mazatlán, Mexico. Tucker lived in Mexico for 18 months while his father worked for a pastor there. At almost 14 years old, Tucker moved to Puerto Vallarta, about 300 miles south of Mazatlán. His father founded his own church in Puerto Vallarta where Tucker lived for 5 years before moving back to Colorado at 19 years old to attend college at Colorado State University.

When moving around as a missionary kid, did your parents have any expectations of you?

Honestly, my parents were actually pretty trusting of me. Throughout my life I’ve always heard of pastors’ or missionary kids becoming “the rebels” and going crazy in high school and such, but I never went that route.

Did your parents have different expectations of you than your siblings?

I’m the youngest sibling, and the only boy, so my parents may have been a bit more lax with me than other pastor-parents may be. They allowed me to be friends with whomever I chose, and they gave me many freedoms during the nights and weekends.

I think part of it was that they wanted me to learn about the cultures we were living in as much as I could, and the best way to do that was to let me be free and explore life the way I chose.

How did being a missionary kid influence or not influence your views on faith?

They allowed me to choose whichever path I liked. I believe that this was part of the reason I had such a good relationship with my parents growing up, and never shied away from the church like many pastors’ kids might. I ran the projector slides for worship every Sunday and helped out with their outreaches when I could. Many of my friends were part of the youth group that I attended, too.

Would you say that it made you more or less religious?

I don’t know if being a missionary kid made me more or less religious, but it definitely didn’t make me shy away from religion at all.

Did you enjoy living in various places? And if so why?

I loved it. I’ve lived in Colorado since coming back for college, almost as long as I lived in Mexico, but I still consider the country my home away from home. Every time I visit I feel more at ease and comfortable, since it was the culture that I grew up in. Moving between different languages and cultures has also given me an itch, so to speak, so now I just want to travel to different places around the globe to learn about the people and their languages. Definitely a different mindset than if I had just stayed in Colorado my whole life.

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