thatmom

real encouragement for real homeschooling moms

raising missions minded children

Jeff Myers, from Passing the Baton International, offered this in his latest e-mailing.

In her book The Mission Minded Child: Raising a New Generation to Fulfill God’s Purpose Ann Dunagan lists some of the distinctives of kids who are developing a heart for missions.

A mission minded child…

~dreams of fulfilling God’s destiny.
~may want to become a missionary–or a teacher or a doctor or a newspaper reporter or a state governor or a pastor or a businessperson or an airplane pilot or an author or a florist or a mother–as long as its what God wants.
~prays for that next-door neighbor.
~is not a picky eater!
~takes home a photo magnet from the visiting missionary family and puts it on the kitchen refrigerator.
~is healthy, active, and adventurous.
~spends a summer night sleeping outside on the trampoline, gazes up at a sky filled with twinkling stars, and realizes God’s plan is infinitely bigger than his or her own backyard.
~imagines rollerblading on the Great Wall of China!
~recognizes the names of David Livingstone, Amy Carmichael, Hudson Taylor, and Loren Cunningham.
~knows how to use chopsticks.
~has a reputation for thoroughly enjoying the Bible sword drills and memory verse contests at church.
~puts extra money in the monthly missions offering and feels extra good inside.
~thinks it could be fun to sleep in a mud hut in Africa!
~reads all the way through the Bible by the age of ten (or eleven or twelve)–and is excited to start again!
~stares at the photos in the new geography textbook or magazine and imagines climbing to the top of that Egyptian pyramid, snorkeling in those tropical-blue waters, and giving a new outfit to that poor boy with the ripped-up shirt.
~befriends the new kid at school.
~thinks beyond the “box” of what’s merely expected and hopes to do something big, or something little, for God.
~wants to obey (even when no one is looking).
~loves Jesus!

Do you have any other suggestions?

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5 Comments»

  Sandy wrote @

My younger son met almost all these distinctives, with an added one – he kept a large map of the world on the wall beside his bed and prayed for the lost in a different country each night. This started when he was about 5 or 6 and still continues. he majored in missions in college and minored in education. He’s worked as a evangelist for inner city teens. Right now he’s a public high school teacher who says that is a wide open mission field. He’s also a part time pastor of a small church. Ok… I love to brag but had nothing to do with all this. The point is is that this has alwyas been between Him and God. All we ever did as parents was encourage him to seek God’s will for his life. Of course that should include concern for the lost, doncha think?

  Shauna wrote @

-Get to know the international students, refugees, immigrants, and other international populations in your area.

Many colleges have friendship programs that match up incoming international students with community members. Our family was recently assigned to and met with a Muslim family from Saudi Arabia; the husband and wife will be doing advanced degree programs at the university, and their kids are about the same age as mine.

  thatmom wrote @

Sandy,your story is such a blessing! And I agree that the high schools today are a mission field in their own right and they NEED Christians to teach in them.

You know, I think one of the best things we ever did in our home was to have missionaries stay with us or come to dinner. We did this quite frequently when my oldest children were small and the church we attended had a huge missions ministry.

One time we had a retiring missionary from Zaire stay for over a week in our home. She was so sweet and had served the Lord as a single lady for 40 years or more. She shared her life with us and of course my children were wide-eyed at all her stories.

The best man in our wedding and my husband’s college roommate and basketball teammate has had a sports missions ministry in the Philippines for several decades. When he and his wife would come through and stay with us, the children would beg Tom for a bedtime story and he always complied. Tom’s stories were the best, I mean the best. Of course, they were so exciting one story was never enough and the kids didn’t want to go to sleep after just one of them!

Another time we had a couple stay with us for a week and it was obvious that they really didn’t want to be at our conference. They had just come home on furlough and hadn’t seen their college age children for a year. Ours was not one of their supporting churches and they had just been told to come here. Several times I heard harsh words between them from behind a closed door.

That week we all purposed to do everything we could to minister to this couple and to make their stay pleasant and relaxing and not to expect much from them at all. By the end of the week, we had come to love them and much of their stress was gone. The weather had turned cold and they only had summer clothing so I went through my closets and found all sorts of things for them, including a winter coat for the woman. It was no big deal to me….we have so much stuff in this country. But they were over-the-top grateful. When they left and I was changing the sheets in their room, I discovered one of the man’s t-shirts…it was the thinnest, most threadbare thing I had ever seen and then I realized that they really were struggling financially and that that had to have been a big part of what was going on and it explained their response to what little we did for them.

  thatmom wrote @

Shauna,

There is a university about 45 minutes from us and we know many families who have done the same thing. It has opened so many doors for presenting the Gospel and for lifelong friendships.

  TulipGirl wrote @

One of the things I so appreciate about Sonlight Curriculum is the emphasis on mission-mindedness and looking at the “big picture” of God’s world, and not just the US.

In spite of its cheesy name, my boys and I have really liked the book You Can Change The World! about people groups around the world who are still considered “unreached.”

Let me tell you, it was very hard to read the section on Street Children to my boys. And yet. . . we needed to. As one of their good friends in Ukraine lived on the street, and we met street children regularly. It helped that we were good friends with a family in Peru working directly with street children.

And I totally agree with Shauna about being involved with international students. International students are usually involved with student-type relationships, but how often do they also need some “family time” sort of love and ministrations. (And from a strategic viewpoint–our family and children don’t need to go far to have an international impact.)


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