As parents, we want and hope many things for our children. We want them to be well educated, well-rounded, kind and compassionate, athletic, musical, and the list goes on. What if I told you that I really and truly believed there was a way to grow our children in ways that no sports team or high dollar vacation could ever do?
If we believe we were created to give glory to God with our lives, then we probably believe that about the lives of our children as well. God can and will use each of us right where we are, if we submit to His plans for our lives and seek to love God and others every day. We don’t have to go anywhere special to be used by God.
However, I have seen with my own eyes how going on a mission trip can change the course of a life. Going on a mission trip has changed me countless times, so I know that He can do that in my kids, too. When we leave the comfort of our homes with the intent of being a blessing and serving others, I believe that it pleases God to answer those prayers we have for the hearts of our children to be changed in the process.
We know from God’s Word that it is better to give than receive. So, what if we actually lived that out in our lives and took our kids along for the ride? I realize there are many valid points for staying home and serving those in your community.
If I may, I would like to suggest that it not be either/or. The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few… we need workers HERE and THERE. We need to serve our communities AND go if we are able! Serving in and with my local church is one of the greatest joys of my life; this article isn’t about choosing one place to serve over the other. My heart is to serve wherever the Lord leads, be that near or far… or both.
I also love serving with ministries that have feet on the ground. We aren’t just serving for a week and then leaving them empty handed, there are people there year round, we are merely coming to help while we can… they continue the work throughout the rest of the year serving the local people. Discipleship is a part of the calling and is very much needed all over the world.
5 Reasons to Take Your Family on a Mission Trip
We are fulfilling the great commission. Go and make disciples. Let us teach our children to obey God’s word with our own actions! We can show our children that the gospel is important to us by spending our hard-earned money to go anywhere in the world to share Jesus. Sharing the gospel is worth it.
We are teaching our children that it truly is better to give than receive. We may say these words, but living them out is another story. In this culture and especially in our America, we live lives of comfort and ease. To spend time living in a place where we are out of our comfort zone and maybe even uncomfortable is so good for our souls and for our kids.
We are giving our children the opportunity to serve and work hard. Most of us probably want our children to grow up and be hard workers with good character. We can’t just hope that happens. We need to be proactive and intentional about giving our kids opportunities to serve others. Of course, week in and week out there are opportunities all around us. Going on a mission trip is just an extended period of time where we can serve together as a family.
We are opening the eyes of our children to other cultures and peoples. I so desperately want my children to know that God loves all peoples. All nations. All languages. All abilities and disabilities. Rich and poor. When we travel the world to tell people they are loved by God our kids will see just how important that is.
Plant seeds in our children’s hearts. I’m praying that as my own family travels this summer to a country in Central America that seeds will be planted in my own children’s hearts. I’m praying that God will grow in their hearts a love for a people that aren’t like us. I’m praying that God will grow in them a compassionate heart that wants to serve the less fortunate. I’m praying that God will show them how truly blessed they are and that we are blessed to be a blessing.
Ask God for opportunities to share His love with others. He may open a door for you that is two minutes down the street. He may provide a trip around the world to share His love. And, he may even open doors near AND far. We are challenged in God’s Word to love God with all our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. May we see the neighbors God has given us in our homes, in our communities and all around the world.
Candace Crabtree is just a broken mama thankful for grace and new mercies every morning. She and her husband live in East Tennessee where they homeschool their 3 kids. Candace also enjoys teaching piano, coffee, good books and blogging at His Mercy Is New. On her blog she shares encouragement for weary women from God's Word along with resources for learning to pray the Scriptures.