Thursday, April 4, 2013

Raising My Girls to Have a Heart for Missions ~ Three Steps to Start

It seems a given that missionary kids would have a heart for missions, doesn't it?
Even more so that a missionary mama would have a heart burdened and overflowing for the salvation of the lost?
But guess what?!?
That isn't always the case.
When you are raised living on a mission field, it is home.
No different than America, or the UK, or the place you were born and raised.
And after you've lived on the mission field for a while?
It becomes normal.
It is your home, too.
It is easy to let the fire grow cold, and your heart grow calloused to the need of those around you.
Not a pretty picture, but definitely the facts.

Do I like admitting to that?
Not one bit.
But is it important that I see it as a problem?
Thus, our family missions month was born.
Some time ago, I remember reading a post about not just packing Easter away after the big day, but really living it.
When Easter was over and done with for the disciples, Christ wasn't over and done with them or the mission He had for them.
He spent 40 days telling them of their real purpose.....the reaching of the entire world with His glorious message of love, and forgiveness, and grace.
Their life's call.

After Easter is over, what do I think about?
The clean-up?
The next holiday on the list?
Going back to life as usual?

This year we decided would be different.
We decided to leave out our cradle-to-the-cross wreath and circle one more time around.
To choose the next forty days to think about carrying the light God has given us to a dark and empty world.

1. Each morning we light the candle as a reminder of the light we are supposed to be shining today.

2. We leave out the books from Easter that also talk about what happened after Easter {these books aren't perfect, but easily "fixed" while reading, and the pictures are stunning}.

3. As part of our morning devotions around the table, we not only pray for a missionary every day, but also read a chapter from The Book of Missionary Heroes  {this is our first time reading it, and it is excellent ~ and free for Kindle!}

Just three simple things, a candle, a book or two, and habitual prayer, but every big thing must start somewhere.
And so we've chosen to take these little steps to start raising our girls with a heart for missions.

I'll be writing about his topic over the next 40 days.
I'd love to have you join, and I'd love to hear what you do in your family to raise your kiddos with a heart for missions!


  1. Just downloaded that book. I'm looking forward to reading more and perhaps joining. You are right about the mission field becomes home and normal. I want my kids to see the need everywhere and be burdened for the souls around the world.

  2. Heather (Crist) jonesApril 5, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Thanks for sharing Patty! Appreciate your faithfulness!

  3. Thanks so much for these posts! I am so looking forward to more of how you teach your children to have a burden for souls. I think the best way we do this in our family is to keep the need ever before our children's eyes. We allow them to listen as we witness to people, make visits with us, and to see how far sin takes them in life. These often every day differences in our lives compared to the lives of the unsaved all around us are a greater testimony to our children than many words we could ever say to convince them! Thanks for the tip on the book. I downloaded it just a few minutes ago!

  4. Thanks so much for sharing this Patty. I saw it a few days ago on my phone, but couldn't comment.
    It seems very obvious to me that the Lord is renewing a burden He put in my heart a few years ago, thanks for allowing Him to use you to do that! I remember thinking, like you, "Here we are on the mission field. My oldest was 4 weeks old when we got here, and my two other kids were born here. This is the norm for them. I know they love Chile, but what am I doing to help them see the need around the world?" Jason and I have a burden not just for Chile, but for the whole world; and I was scared we weren't transmitting that to the kids. So I started praying about it. I read a book called "Missions Minded Family". It wasn't very applicable for our family, but she did have some good references for resources throughout the book. WI ordered book by Unicef called "Children Just Like Me". My kids really like it. It tells detailed stories with pictures of children from different parts of the world. We use it sometimes in devotions. Or sometimes the kids bring it to me when I tell them to bring some books to me to read them. Last night we read about a girl from India. And we talked about our friends who are serving there and how we need to pray for them.
    I also got an ABC book that tells about unreached people groups, each one starting with a different letter of the alphabet A-Z.
    And I got a CD of kids songs from different countries.
    Those are some things that we use. I really want to get a wall mural of the world map and put it on our stairway. We have a world map in the kid's art room, but it's not in a place where we are as a family much.
    So we're trying, but I lack consistency!! That is where I fail big time. I really appreciate your ideas and will be following your posts in these days and praying that God will help me do a better job to extend, express, and teach my kids to have a burden to see the world evangelized.

  5. Great idea! Our missions conference is coming up Wednesday, and I am looking forward to it! I think we will use some of these ideas while we go through missions conference and beyond. :) Thanks for the ideas!

  6. I really like is so easy to just get busy living life, and forget or neglect to see missions as a daily thing. We pray for missionaries, host them in our home, listen to their amazing stories of faith, read biographies, talk about it...but am I passing a burden for the lost onto the next generation. This has got me thinking, and I want to do more in our home. Thanks for the encouragement:)