Keeping mission vision alive and growing A quarterly publication of Mission Data International

Archive for the ‘Missions and family’ Category

Interview with David F.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

This interview with David F., a missionary kid who grew up in Indonesia, lends us the perspective of someone a few years beyond college. David is married with two young children and recently ventured out into an unexpected but successful business partnership after a number of years teaching and working for a local greeting card company. All the while, his heart desires to be overseas at some point in the future.

Propel: Once in a while I come across stories of missionary kids who resent their upbringing overseas for various reasons. How was life as a missionary kid for you? What were the pros, the cons?

David: I absolutely love the fact that I was brought up overseas, and really cherish my unique upbringing. I got to enjoy all kinds of cool things and activities that I wouldn’t have if I had grown up in the good ‘ol U.S.A. I guess I missed McDonalds? Don’t know any of the TV shows people do? Honestly, I credit my parents for clearly demonstrating and communicating that it was family first, work and ministry second on the mission field. Most MK [missionary kid] resentment comes from the all-to-familiar attitude of ‘nothing but my ministry’ that some mission organizations once espoused. Family is our first ministry. The same disenchantment exists in the homes of pastors — or just busy people.

Propel: How did growing up as a missionary kid influence your decisions today? How did it affect your outlook on life, goals for life and spiritual walk?

David: It’s definitely broadened my horizons; other cultures are really, really not like our culture! They’re not worse, they’re different. Viv ‘la difference! I take very seriously the charge of Jesus to go into all the nations, and want my life to always be involved with missions as God leads. I’ve seen mission activity produce a great harvest — with my own eyes — and this makes me value it and desire it to go forward unhindered.

Propel: When in life did you decide you wanted to be a missionary? What led up to this realization?

David: God wants us all to be a missionary where we are. However — and I may be a little weird — but I think that being a missionary is really cool, even fun. Yes, it has a lot of challenges and generally scares me to death as well. Helping people know God is just about the highest goal for anyone; I’m convinced it’s a great way to spend a life. I’ve thought so for a long while, not sure I could put my finger on exactly when. (more…)

Preparing your kids to go international

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

by David Armstrong

Communication, information and a loved mother are the keys to preparing your kids to go international.

Communication is about adventuring together rather than alone. It is the sharing of what one is thinking, how one is feeling and the decisions one is wrestling with. Start when God begins to call you to missions. As you ask other adults to pray with you, ask your kids to pray with you. As you learn about the country and the people you are being drawn to, involve them in that learning. Communication between family members is crucial, especially for those six years and older.

Not everyone is an out loud processor, but everyone will benefit from the interaction and sharing. It does take longer to keep several people in the loop, but the unity as a family and the positive attitudes will be so much better.

Information is crucial to preparing you all, and the more the better! Research the people you plan to serve and the places you plan to go. Go through the discovery process together as a family. You will find that each person in your family will be interested in different parts of the culture and each will ask questions you never thought to ask. Take the time and energy to make it fun.

Try books from the library and visit Barnes and Noble. Look for DVDs and videos. Search the internet and make a notebook of what you find. Look for common recipes from that country and try them out. Locate students, businessmen or neighbors who have lived in that country and have them over for dinner and a visit. Search out any blogs talking about that country, and pay attention to news items relating to that part of the world.

Ask questions. What is the country like? What do people do for jobs? What do they produce? What kinds of clothes and what colors of clothes do they prefer? What smells and sounds would one find? What kind of cars do they drive? What are their favorite foods? What will your kid’s schools be like?


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