STORY: My husband, daughters, and I stood at the airport and watched my son get in line to board his plane to Ecuador for his medical missions trip.
He was excited to be going with the team, and he was anxious to be helping any way that he could so that the patients there could hear the Gospel message.
Not every child will have such an opportunity to go on a missions trip, but can we as parents help our kids be mindful of lost souls, and be aware of the men and women around them that are witnessing to folks locally and around the world?
I believe we can.
How Can We Keep Our Minds on Missions in our Homeschool?
Buy Christian Curriculum That Emphasizes Missions
My Father’s World, a Protestant based curriculum, does this very well.
When my kids and I did their geography for a year, I was blown away by the wonderful books that brought to life children in different lands, and missionary stories that were both happy and sad.
We really enjoyed that year of social studies and it was a real eye opener for all of us.
Read Books About Missionaries
Family story-time is a good time to share a missionary story.
Youth With A Mission (YWAM) has excellent missionary stories that my kids have enjoyed over and over. I am an affiliate for them, so if you do purchase any books through my link, I do receive a small commision.
YWAM has missionary stories for two age groups. The ones for the elementary years are written in rhyming poetry, and have good pictures.
The set for middle school age to adult is in novel form.
Their book on Louis Zamperini was soooooo good! After reading this review I wrote on the book, you’ll for sure want to get your own copy and watch the movie!
Youth With A Mission Publishing fills all my personal criteria for living books.
If you don’t know what a living book is or how to use one to teach your kids, just click on the post title.
YWAM is not the only publisher with great missionary biographies. For preschool and elementary age children you may want to check out my review of Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman With a Big Dream and Betty Greene: The Girl Who Longed to Fly.
These two books are from The Good Book Publishing Company.
Watch Videos About Missionaries
The Torchlighters DVD series are animated stories highlighting missionary lives.
They are done in a cartoon form, perfect for little people to get used to hearing missionary names like Corrie Ten Boom, Adoniram Judson, and George Mueller.
“You have one business on earth – to save souls.” – John Wesley
Get to Know A Current Missionary
This has been the BEST way to keep missions on our minds. Getting to know a missionary that is currently on furlough or on the field opens up a whole host of opportunities and ideas.
When your church has their missionary conference or a missionary visiting for a Sunday or service, be sure to attend. In this way, you can:
*Watch/listen to their report
*Get introduced to the part of the world that they are called to
*Introduce yourself to the missionary
*Sign up for their prayer letter
*Take their current prayer letter home with you
*Take their prayer card home with you
*Ask them to sign your Bible with their favorite verse
*Get to know their children, especially if they are your own kids’ ages
*Ask them if they would like to connect with you on social media
*Asking questions is a great way to break the ice and be memorable in the missionary’s mind
*Offer to take the missionary out for a meal, or have them to your home
*Provide lodging while the missionary is in town
Provide Support and Encouragement to Your Missionary
There are multiple ways to support a missionary:
A. Write their prayer requests in your prayer journal and pray for them daily.
B. Raise/collect money to support a project/need that the missionary has.
(You will need to obtain the missionary’s Mission Board address off of their prayer card or website to send the money to.
You should write on the check the project or the need so the mission board knows how and where to send your money.)
STORY: One missionary our church supported, had a need for a van to transport his family and community children to special church events and church services.
Thankfully, God provided the funds for our church to buy a van for them. My husband and I volunteered to drive the van to them, a few states away. We had a wonderful time delivering the van and staying two days.
Our kids became friends with their kids, and had a good time together.
This missionary was part of an aviation ministry. He offered us a plane ride, but unfortunately, because of time, we couldn’t take him up on the offer.
(I’ve never been on a plane before, so it worked out! (RELIEF!)
No, I’m sure the kids would have really enjoyed it, if we would have had time.
C. Acknowledge their birthday and anniversary
D. Send holiday cards or letters
E. Respond to their prayer letter and ask for updates on previous requests
F. Send a “praying for you” e-mail occasionally
G. Make a visit to their home, if possible
STORY: We had the privilege to visit a missionary family that was serving on an Indian reservation in the Dakotas. We arrived on a Friday afternoon and left on Monday morning. We had a great time with this family. The Saturday we were there, we were blessed to be able to pick potatoes, help with wood cutting, and can green beans. On Sunday, we attended their church. I was given the opportunity to teach the children’s class, and it was wonderful to meet the Indian children and their parents.
We were able to get so many pictures, and we have so many happy memories. It was really a great time.
H. Attend a special event or service that they host
STORY: My family also had the privilege to visit a drug rehabilitation facility that was located on a farm on the East coast. This special service was for the participants who had graduated from the rehab program. We were able to tour their facility, encourage them with our presence, and meet some of the guests that had completed the program. The missionary had a free meal for everyone, a time of testimonies, an award ceremony, and then all of the children in attendance got to have pony rides. Once again, we were able to get so many great pictures, and we have a lot of good memories of that visit.
I. Send their child a Christmas gift box (Beware if you send a box overseas. Make sure that the fee and time that the missionary has to pay to get the box is worth it, if the box gets delivered right to their door, then perfect!)
STORY: For a few years, our church was able to send a Christmas box to one of our missionaries in Liberia. This missionary lived in such a remote area that he had no address to send the box to! We were able to send it to the closest ship docking area, but the missionary had to travel there to receive the box. He couldn’t get the box though, unless he payed the fees to receive it. We took the chance that our box might be stolen or broken into, but it never was. Unfortunately, we had to stop sending the gifts because it was just too hard for the missionary to obtain.
STORY: Another missionary in Cameroon also received our gift boxes for a few years. The missionary wife had a great idea. She would only let her kids open one gift per day. (Every item was wrapped individually) In this way, Christmas lasted a while! They were so happy to receive even the simplest gift. Who would have thought that Jello would be a delicacy for them?
Sometimes, a mission board will be having a freight container being sent to the missionary. If you ask the mission board, sometimes your item can get on the container too!
STORY: Our church was blessed to be able to send linens and toiletry items to a deaf school in the Philippines. It was really awesome to track the container, which was on a boat, across the globe. Unfortunately, it took months to get there, but it finally made it!
J. If your missionary is part of an organization, organize a work-day.
STORY: One missionary we supported was a director of a homeless rescue mission in the city. We were blessed to be part of our church’s work group to spend a Saturday working at the mission. The men did construction and other type work, while us ladies worked at filling bags with gifts that would be given to the homeless on Christmas day. We all got a lot done that day, and we were a big help to the missionary.
Take Advantage of Your Missionary's Geography
Use the missionary’s geography as a starting point for more study.
You could find out:
1. The country name
2. The country’s flag
3. The population
4. The types of food the people eat
5. The climate
6. The type of housing
7. The main religion
8. The language
Take Advantage of Writing Opportunites
Here are a few ideas:
1. Become a pen pal with the missionary’s child
2. Ask the missionary if your child can be a pen pal with another child their age in the country where the missionary lives. That would be awesome for that child far away.
3. Conduct an interview and write a report on the missionary.
Do you have any empty wall space? You can have your child make a mission wall and post a map, the missionary’s prayer card, and latest letters.
“If you take missions out of the Bible, you won’t have anything left but the covers.” – Nina Gunter
Studying missionaries in the Bible is a great way to see how they spread the gospel.
People like Jonah, Paul, and Peter would be an excellent place to start!
Being mission-minded is a lot of fun, and it is incredibly awarding as you get to know your missionary.
The more you correspond, talk about, help, and encourage your missionary, the more it will keep the missionary on your children’s minds, and in that way, your homeschool will be very mission-minded. Yeah!!!