MK Memorial Scholarship

The MK Memorial Scholarship is for missionary kids who are studying in the area of public service. This would include military, law enforcement, humanitarian, public service, social work, education, counseling majors, or similar fields of study. Any Assemblies of God Missionary Kid who has lived overseas a minimum of four years may apply for the scholarship. This Scholarship has been made possible through contributions to the JJ Smeya and Phil Billings Memorial fund.

Born at a modest clinic in San Salvador, El Salvador, Justin Jon Smeya, “J.J.”, first visited the U.S.A. at age three, speaking more Spanish than English. His education through seventh grade was in Latin America except for one year in the states while his parents itinerated. J.J. did his eighth grade studies in Springfield, Missouri at Pleasant View Elementary, while his parents fulfilled a one-year stateside assignment. At that point J.J. had lived more than 11 of his 13 years in El Salvador and Honduras. J.J. worked through rigid academic, athletic and medical testing, and was nominated for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point by U.S. Senator Peter Deutsch. He graduated from the Academy in 1998, with a degree in Systems Engineering and the rank of First Lieutenant. Shortly before his tragic car accident, “El Capitán” had been promoted to the literal rank of Captain by the U.S. Army.

Philip Billings was born in La Paz, Bolivia, on July 28, 1977. He grew up in Bolivia where he joined an older sister, Pam and older brother, Jim Jr. He lived there with his missionary parents, Jim & Thelma Billings until his graduation from high school. He graduated from Santa Cruz Christian Learning Center and then moved to the United States where he attended Bethany College in Santa Cruz, California. In 1998 Philip continued his college education at Palm Beach Atlantic College in Florida and worked at a shelter for runaways and abused children. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree in business administration, he moved to Salem, Oregon, where he worked with troubled and abused adolescents for the Salem Juvenile Detention Hall. In 2001, Philip joined the Broward Sheriff's Office, and five months later, graduated from the 208th Police Academy. On April 6, 2003, Deputy Billings was working when he was shot and killed. Phil and JJ were both highly involved in ministry to MKs. They volunteered on MK Task Forces and ministered during the summer MK programs. Their involvement enriched many lives. It is in memory of these two outstanding Missionary Kids that we are able to offer this scholarship. We are still trying to raise enough money to have this scholarship fully endowed.


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