“Children do not get in the way of missions. It is amazing how the Lord uses children,” asserts Megan, a mom of seven with another baby on the way.
Megan has a heart for Muslims and desires to serve cross-culturally someday. For now, she and her husband are cultivating a mission heart in their children, ages 2-17. Although she admits that waiting isn’t easy, Megan sees a huge value in being obedient to what God puts in front of her family on a daily basis. “I have seen God’s hand and heart in our family for years. I see Him forming a beautiful thing. I am on the back burner of going out right now, but I have arrows that are being readied and sent forth!”
Here are some of Megan’s thoughts on becoming a mission-minded family.
Q: How did you develop a heart for God’s mission?
A: “I heard the director of Far Reaching Ministries [FRM, intl. mission org.] speak at our church. God put a desire for missions in my heart and also in my oldest son, who was eight at the time. We began to immerse ourselves in missionary stories and God used these to develop an even greater love and desire for missions.“
Q: How do you cultivate a love for God’s world and His mission in your family?
A: “Instead of leaving our kids behind when we serve, we ask God for opportunities to serve together as a family. We do tangible things to help people in our community, like washing and folding our used baby clothes to give to needy mothers. We have seen God bless us so much in our financial hard times. He has never given us junk, so we make sure our gift is worthy of what we have received. We have also served together at local food banks and FRM.
My husband and I share the Lord with neighbors or others when there is an open door, and my kids have followed our lead. They have bought Bibles for children in our neighborhood and shared God’s Word with them. My ten-year-old daughter is holding a Bible study outside with some children right now.
We pray together for others regularly. When we lived in California, I called our vehicle the praying mobile van. As we ran errands, my kids noticed people broken down on the side of the road or with other needs. We were constantly praying for people in those kinds of situations.
We homeschool, so we integrate missions into our studies regularly. Together we read God’s Word, missionary stories, ‘Voice of the Martyrs’ for kids, and anything else God brings into our hands. Our family also supports three children through Compassion International and we have missionary friends we keep in contact with.“
Q: Are there specific things that God is laying on your children’s hearts?
A: “My oldest son has felt called to missions since he was eight and that call has only grown. Now at 17, he has a heart for Mexico. He has learned Spanish and been on many mission trips to Mexico. He is currently learning the language of a closed country where he has an opportunity to go. He is getting a TESOL certificate in preparation for missions. My 13-year-old son has told me he has a heart for missions, too. He is interested in going on the next Mexico mission trip as well as learning another language.“
Q: What advice can you give parents who desire to disciple their children in God’s mission?
A: “Most of the time it’s living out our faith and waiting on God for opportunities rather than trying to force something. Waiting can feel foreign in a world that praises busyness and activity. We have a tendency to pack our schedules so tightly that we may miss opportunities right outside our doors. God puts people in our path as we slow down and allow the ‘happenings.‘
Tons of prayer! We need to listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit in all our teachings and activities. Mission is really God’s heart.
There is purpose in the waiting. God has blessed my husband and me with special opportunities to see that in all the waiting and teaching, a whole lot was going on inside our children. We get to see our kids demonstrate what the Lord has done in their hearts.”
About the Author: We are a family who were on the verge of divorce until Jesus came in and saved us. He took two sinners and radically changed our lives, including our desire for kids. We now live to glorify Him through His leading and to lead others to the One who set us free.