Posts Tagged ‘missionary kids’

Why would missionaries’ kids become missionaries when they grow up?

Haven’t they seen how living in a foreign place makes you weird?  Haven’t they experienced the long, heart-rending absences from family, baseball, and apple pie?  Don’t they know how insecure they have lived their whole lives with their parents’ income entirely based on the charity of people they hardly knew and who hardly knew them?  Don’t they know how much better they could have lived if their dad had had a real job?

But everywhere we travel in the world, including Scotland where we are today, we meet our frontline missionaries, and an unusually large number of them are the kids of missionaries.

Today Sherrylee and I spent several wonderful hours with most of the members of the mission team in Falkirk, Scotland.  About eighteen months ago, they began arriving to plant a new work in this small but important city which lies about in the middle between Glasgow and Edinburgh. One dad and mom with four kids are on the team, two single women, and two young married couples.

Currently, about 30 people gather weekly in Falkirk—which is the sign of a blessed work among western European church plants.  Among their latest attempts to reach out to those they live among is to invite an LST team for this coming summer.  The Scots do speak English, but many of the immigrants and international students in Scotland do not, so this team sees them as an opportunity—and I think they are right.

One of the characteristics of growing mission churches throughout the world, as I have observed, is that they are not jealous of their national identity, but rather have completely open doors and open hearts to whomever God brings them.  This team loves the Scottish people, but they also love the Polish people and the Chinese, and the many other nationalities that God has brought to Scotland.  They believe and are acting upon Acts 17:24

 From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live.  God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.

Robin and Chrissy Vick are members of this wonderful team. Robin is the son of missionary parents, and his love for the mission of God is evident. He talked about his commitment to Scotland, that he declined opportunities to join mission teams to other places, that he and Chrissy prayed and prayed for team members to join them, but were committed to go without others if so called.

Why do missionary kids become missionaries?  Here are a few of the reasons as I see it!

  • They learn very early in life that God loves the whole world, not just the U.S., not just the western world, not just the free world, not even just the Christian world, but the WHOLE world!
  • They learn the special skills that are needed to navigate foreign places. They know that languages, dialects, accents can be learned and used appropriately. They understand about visas, and negotiating foreign airports. They are not put off when their money is not green and the coins have pictures of foreign rulers on them with holes in the middle.
  • They are not afraid of other systems. So what if their kids go to European schools! So what if they have socialized medicine! So what if their country has a parliament and a queen instead of a president and a congress.
  • They know the answer to the question that so many potential American missionaries hear: why do you need to go over there? Don’t we have plenty of people here that need to hear the gospel?  They know that not only does Nashville have plenty who still need to hear the gospel, but there are thousands of Christians living in Nashville with huge resources to do that work.  And how many are living in Falkirk? And what are the resources.  That’s why they choose Scotland!

Not all missionary kids become missionaries.  But many do—and we should all give thanks for them and for their parents!

And some of you young parents might want to think about moving!!


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