Editors’ Note: If we want our children to view participating in God’s mission as a natural part of their life with Jesus, we need to model what this looks like in everyday family life. Here is an example of sending that impacted three generations.
Today my daughter spoke about our friends in Zambia. Before her presentation, I sent a message to let our friends know they were about to be introduced to a group of children in Staten Island [New York]. And I thought about how grateful I am for them. Not just for the amazing work they do, but what it means for our kids to know them.
As a mom, I want my children to have a global perspective on life and faith. I want them to know there are better dreams than the Asian standard of security and the American idol of self-fulfillment. I want them to know that following Christ is not about self-preservation, but being freed to die to self that others may live. But it’s one thing to talk about all this, and a whole other thing to have them see what it looks like in the flesh. Which is why I thank God for our many dear friends overseas who are living in faithful obedience to his call.
I grew up with missionary families passing through our home, their pictures on our fridge. Even now if my mom catches you looking at the photos in her kitchen, she’ll seize the opportunity to tell you what these men and women are doing around the world. My parents never publicized their giving, nor did they treat it as a matter of legalistic duty. Supporting global missions— in prayer, with finances, through hospitality— was just a normal, joyful part of Christian life.
I wonder if my parents knew that my vision of Christianity was being formed in crucial ways. That I was learning that if even I didn’t go overseas, I ought to leverage my life for the sake of those who have yet to know Christ’s name. That I was being given a chance to see missionaries not as legends, but real people making real sacrifices, enduring real suffering because the gospel is precious and people are worth it. I wonder if they realized the biggest beneficiaries of their generosity were being raised under their roof.
My sweet girl said today, “You can raise money for the missionaries… you can pray for the missionaries…” Yes, it will be grace to them. But it will also be grace to you and your children.
This article was originally published at the Keeping Heart blog. It has been republished here with the author’s permission.
About the Author: Faith and her husband Jeff live with their 4 little people in Staten Island, NY and serve at Grace Christian Church. She has a Certificate of Christian Studies from Westminster Theological Seminary and is passionate about orthodoxy for the sake of life before God and worship unto Him. When given alone time, she reads, writes, and declutters.
Very helpful “being freed to die to self that others may live” global mindset.