Our Kids = Our Mission

I often hear Mums say that they don’t have time for missions, or they say that missions is not for them at this time, maybe when their children are grown up and they can leave them at home with family, or old enough to even join them “on the field”. Sometimes they say things like,”I wish I could give more than just my money or prayers. I really crave to give more in ministry or missions”

Now disclaimer here – yes I work with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) an international Missions organisation. Yes I live in a different country than my or my husbands family. Yes I have brought my children up on the “ Mission Field”. I have taken them to many ministry events and outreaches to different countries and communities. This has not been easy and many more times than I would like to count I have thought about how much easier it would be bringing up our children with our families around, but that is not what we as a family have been called to do. This is the life that God has asked the Moala family to have for this time. However this is something different to what I want to talk about today.

What I want to share with you is that every believing Mum or Mom (I realise I have Mamas reading from both hemispheres) has a responsibility in the Mission field!!

Now before you close the browser window thinking I am telling you to go into international missions or be like Abraham, I am not saying that at all. In fact, hopefully, the title of this blog caught your attention anyway. What I am saying is that every Mother in every family has a very unique and special job from God! Your children are your Mission Field!! So you don’t even need to leave your house and you have your own ministry and mission right there in your living room, kitchen, bedrooms and backyard!!

One way is to let them see you in the Word! – Having regular “quiet times” 

Matthew 28:19-20 says “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

So what does this mean for us Mums? We are to bring up our children and disciple them, teaching them the Word of God and God is with us to help us in this monumental task!

Psalm 78: 4-7 says “We will not hide them from their children, telling to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done. For He established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children; that the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, that they may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God but keep His commandments.”

Sharing stories of what God did for them today – they are drawing pictures to show us what God did today for them personally to share at dinner.

Again a beautiful passage of the benefits of sharing what God has done, to our children. Sometimes we make the mistake of not sharing the ups and downs of life with our children because we feel they may not be able to handle it. I know from experience that my kids are very resilient, and when I share our struggles with them, whether it is financial, health or work (without giving gory details) they are quick to pray and look to God. When I share with them answered prayer it really boosts their already childlike faith!! Your stories may be the ones they remember of Gods faithfulness. That may be the one thing that they understand and gives them a deeper knowledge of God which brings stability and strength to their faith and relationship with Him. If all we do is share Bible stories with them and pray over our food, how does this give them anything to stand on when life gets hard? Or when they grow up a bit and begin to question God and their faith? Be real with your kids. Speak the truth to them of how God has come through for you personally and as a family.

Sharing from the Word together as a family – They always love it when I read from an adult Bible. 

We often talk about Missionaries reaching the unreached. Going into the unreached people groups and sharing God with people who have never heard the name of Jesus before. But let me tell you a secret…. your children are your unreached people!!! God gave them to you and you get to be the first person to tell them about Jesus!! Tell them about Jesus and His great love for them, before the world tells them something different. Your children are your unreached people group! Right there in front of you!! I pray that as a Mum on the mission field I don’t get so caught up with reaching the lost around me that I forget the unreached people right in front of me! As a Mum, my children are the people that God has given to me to teach, train, disciple and point to God. As a missionary the people around me in my community and the people we are ministering to are important too, but not more important than my children.

I hope this has encouraged you to see your purpose in motherhood and the amazing ministry that you have in front of you. Maybe later you will get to go an a mission trip, and maybe in another season you will have more to give of yourself in ministry but right now what you are doing with your children is the most important ministry you can have.

So just as in Matthew 19:13-15 When Jesus called the children unto himself and prayed for them, I encourage you to take your children to Jesus. Point them to Him everyday. Share your stories with them of Gods faithfulness and greatness. Pray with them over the big things as well as the little things. Tell them the Bible stories and explain how these stories relate to them today. Tell them other peoples stories of what God has done for others too. Don’t forget that as you disciple, train and teach your children that God will be with you every step of the way!!

Your Kids are Your Mission Field – Be encouraged in the purpose of your Motherhood!!

You say Goodbye, I say Hello…

I grew up listening to The Beatles, thanks to my music teacher mother, and I often think of the song “You say Goodbye, and I say Hello… hello hello…” for a few reasons. Not only is it a great song, by classic musicians, but as a Mission family, I feel like this is a part of our life.

“Goodbye’s” and “Hello’s” are very much a part of our regular lives. Where we live on a YWAM Base, living in community, there are always people leaving and people arriving. Some people stay for only a short time, maybe a week or two, some stay for a few months and others are a part of our lives for years.

When we first arrived here almost 7 years ago, it used to affect me so much when we would have to say goodbye to people. I have a memory of crying at the airport saying goodby to an outreach team who were only going to be gone for 2 months before coming back. However now it doesn’t seem to affect me as much.. sure there are certain people that i get upset when they leave, especially if they have been with us for a while, but i wonder if i’ve put a bit of a wall up, not letting myself feel it as much, or maybe I’m just getting used to it.

I pray, though, for my kids… I do not want them to start to build a wall, i don’t want them to not want to get to know people because they might leave. I encourage my girls to get to know and hang out with the people who come our way, and when they leave its hard on them but helping them process it means that they can say hello to the next person who comes along.

Here are some of the ways I help my girls to say goodbye well..

  1. Prepare them for it… Leading up to the goodbye talk to them about it, explain why the person is leaving, where they are going and ask them if they have any questions
  2. Create something... For the person leaving, either a letter to read on the plane, a card, or painting. Something special for that person from them.
  3. Make the Good bye quick… Don’t have it drawn out for them… these are big emotions for the kids to feel and if it gets drawn out it can get confusing and really quite distressing.
  4. Hugs on their terms…. I never force them to hug or kiss anyone, its all on their terms… for many reasons, but for the sake of this topic the emotions they are feeling can make the kids react in different ways and sometimes they just want to withdraw, its not fair for me to force them to have to actually say goodbye.
  5. My kids emotional health is the priority not the adults feelings… this may seem harsh but this links with the above point. If my child is not coping with the goodbye, me dealing with that and being there for them is more important than the adult who is leaving’s feelings being hurt by my child not saying goodbye.. They are my main priority who I am protecting and helping.
  6. Look it up on the globe or map…. After the person has left, discuss where the person is going to… talk about the countries, look at pictures, flags, food all that fun stuff, it then becomes a teaching point and talking point of the family…
  7. Write letters or draw pictures… to people once they have left and send them (to be honest I’m not so good at this one but it is a thought I’ve had 🙂
  8. Pray for the person who has left…  I pray with my girls for the person or people who have left, if i know of prayer requests from them we pray for that, otherwise we generally pray for them and talk about how God will protect them and be with them just as He is with us.

These are just a few ways that I have helped my little to say goodbye well… do you have any more ideas that I haven’t thought of?

One last thought… Without them knowing I am discipling them and teaching them that this world is not their home… we are just travelling through ourselves… we look to a heavenly home and keep our eyes on eternity… now I don’t specifically say that to my kids but by teaching them to say hello and goodbyes well I am teaching them this deep truth… (Hebrews 13:14 – For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.)

Finally I like to make it super exciting when we get to say hello to someone new… and if you know my children, they are super outgoing and love new people so hopefully for now the exciting and fun “hellos” outweigh the sad and hard “goodbyes”….

So now I say Goodbye not hello, and will talk again soon 🙂