Ahram and his wife live in Pakistan with their son Rayan* (12) and daughter Maira* (10). As parents, they are intentional about mobilizing their children to live out God’s purposes through modeling, ongoing discussions, and direct involvement in God’s work.
According to Ahram, “Leading clear purpose-driven and purpose-built lives ourselves, how can we not be praying, preparing, planning, and hoping the same for our children.” Here are his thoughts on parents mobilizing their children.
Q: How did you and your wife learn about God’s mission?
A: “We both felt a call to God’s mission work even before meeting one another. We attended two different Bible colleges where that call became clearer and stronger. We also had different prophetic words spoken over our lives at different times regarding our calling and mission.”
Q: Why is it important to begin mobilizing children at an early age?
A: “What children learn during their formative years stays with them for life. If they have a clear direction early on, they will not be misled or easily sidetracked for the rest of their life. Children should have a clear purpose and goal in their life that is not limited to this world, but has an eternal dimension and significance for their lives. There is no greater or better aim in life than to know, pursue, and accomplish God’s purposes.”
Q: What are you teaching your children about God and His mission?
A: “We teach our children that God created and loves them, and that He has a purpose for their lives that extends beyond themselves. We want them to understand that God desires for His name to be known throughout the world and seeks people from every nation to worship Him. The nations need to hear the good news of Jesus and our family can be a part of that. We emphasize that God has blessed us so that we can be a blessing to the nations.”
Q: Does your family focus on specific unreached people groups? How did you choose these groups?
A: “As a family, we have adopted the Makrani [Muslim group]. My daughter and I have personally adopted the Daroga [Muslim group] as well. Every week in our church we introduce an international people group as well as a people group within Pakistan. We motivate families and individuals to pray about and adopt a people group as they feel led by the Lord. While I was encouraging others, God told me to adopt a people group as a family, and as an individual. After I shared this with my family, we began to focus on the Makrani. Our daughter also wanted to personally adopt the Daroga people.”
Q: What does practical mobilization look like in your family?
A: “Our children join us when we train and mobilize others so they hear a lot in our conversations both in the church and at home. We teach our children that one important way we can participate in God’s work is to pray for laborers to be sent to the harvest fields. They often see my wife and me praying. We also pray with our children at bedtime every night and include prayers for the specific people groups we have adopted. We make regular financial contributions to reach unreached people groups in Pakistan and as our children observe our ongoing giving, they are inspired to give themselves. We consistently have family conversations about the big purpose of God and how we have been blessed to be a blessing. We keep emphasizing how the world needs to be saved and how they need to pray for their non-Christian friends.”
Q: How have you seen God working in your children’s hearts?
A: “They are very engaged in praying and contributing finances to reach the unreached. Maira prays fervently for the Makrani and Daroga peoples. One day she brought her whole money box and said, ‘Dad, I want to donate this money for the people group that we have adopted.’ This was a big step for her and a joy for us. She keeps track of her finances and is wise in her spending. We felt that it was by God’s grace that Maira was able to make this decision. Rayan is very passionate about the people group we have adopted as a family. He learned that they and their ancestors worshiped crocodiles. Whenever he leads our daily family prayers, he includes this petition: ‘Lord I pray that the Makrani people will not worship crocodiles, but they will worship you’. We both really enjoy his heart-felt prayers.”
Q: What is the long-term impact of parents mobilizing their children?
A: Children will grow up with meaningful lives focussed on God’s purposes.This protects them from emptiness and hopelessness which cause a lot of damage to the younger generation. They develop hearts of compassion and empathy for the lost, and also for specific people groups. They learn to take on challenging assignments in their lives and to trust God for big things. Mobilized children become active participants in the body of Christ, both locally and globally. No matter what they do for a living when they become adults, they will continue to live out God’s purpose and plan on a daily and practical basis. Our missional life and legacy as parents will be transferred to the next generation through our children.“
*Names have been changed for security purposes.