Because of all this—of being shown how much he mattered to people—I watched him start believing how much he mattered to God, and to open his ears and his heart more to his Heavenly Father. Every night he sat or stood listening to the entire gospel message in Italian without fidgeting or complaining one time. Not to mention our pre-festival chapel services where he sat in the front row every time and prayed right along with all the adults in his small group. Also, as I watched him rise to each challenge, take ownership in our mission and fearlessly practice speaking a foreign language with people he didn’t know, it was such a confirmation to me that single parents and their kids ARE fit to be missionaries. In fact, perhaps we are some of the most  fit. After all, we are already accustomed to advancing in the face of opposition, navigating all kinds of adverse conditions, being stretched beyond our capabilities and resources, and being fully dependent on God!

Not surprisingly, the love, grace and unity of our team that had so affected us was spilling out to thousands of Italians night after night and many made decisions for Christ. When people don’t just hear, but experience the love of Christ by being embraced, encouraged and challenged, they want to respond to God and give their lives for Kingdom purposes. Witnessing and being part of this move of God on the other side of the world was life-changing for us and we came home knowing God can and wants to use us as missionaries wherever we go.

As we’re facing re-entry to church back at home, my prayer is that what we experienced on this mission trip can become more of a reality here; that churches and communities of believers at home will provide this same sense of ‘family’ to those on the outside, and that they will lavishly love, invest in and call out the greatness of single parents and their kids for the glory of God!

Dawn Walker is a single mom and lives with her 10-year-old son in Grand Rapids, MI. She is the Founder and Director of Single Parent Missions, a ministry dedicated to raising up single parent families to transform generations. She is also a speaker and works with churches to envision and equip them for effective single parent ministry. To find out about upcoming mission trips for single parent families or subscribe to her daily “Hope Notes” for single parents, visit www.singleparentmissions.org.

Publication date: October 3, 2013