I have a heart for missions. No, like a heart that wants to move to Kodiak, AK someday to help with missions on the Emerald Isle - kind of heart - for missions. I feel very called to serve in that particular place for my Lord. But, the time is not yet. Regardless of my love for the people of Kodiak I know that the Lord has me here, in this time, and in this place for a purpose. He's been teaching me about contentment. He's been teaching about my role and job as a missionary to my neighbors. He's opened doors and shut them. He's moving and creating opportunities to share the Good News that is Jesus Christ. (Can I get and Amen?!)
That said, Husband and I have talked several times about instilling a love for missions in our children. What does that look like? How do we do it? How do you show them to perceive the needs of others - both spiritual and physical? When is too soon? When is too late?
As with most things parenting, we determined you can never start too early. :)
Our Middle School kids are doing their yearly mission trip this week. There is no grand trip across, or out of, the country. Our kids are preparing the grounds of an area where Missionaries come to rest between travels. They are working in a local food bank. They are doing work which they will see the results of in their own community. Awesome. :)
Husband is with them. We decided since I am 2 weeks away from birthing Little Squirt that maybe I shouldn't be shoveling dirt, digging ditches and hauling metal fencing, so I'm visiting them and taking photos. :) Although, all that manual labor could through me into a welcome labor. But them husband would miss the rest of the trip. And that would be sad. I digress...
Sesame and I visited yesterday morning. On the way over, I explained that we were visiting the kids and we would be helping. "I wanna diiiiiiiiiiig!" She shouted from the backseat. I sighed to myself thinking, she totally doesn't understand in her little 2/5 year old mind what's going on. She is totally going to be unhelp.
No. She jumped right in. New shoes dirty and grimy. Her little Elmo shovel in hand, placing tiny bits of dirt into wheelbarrows. Little Sesame grunts echoed around the open field as she tried so desperately to move the wheelbarrow. It rocked. :) Afterward, on the way to Pappy and Yia Yia's, I asked her what she thought. She replied, "I like ta help the people." "I know, aren't the kids cool!" thinking she meant the middle school kids. "No, Momma! You tell me dah fish-uhn-rees (missionaries) we helped." I paused. "Yes, Sesame, we helped the missionaries so they can go tell people about Jesus." "I like Jesus," she said, "An i cream (ice cream) We have i cream?"
While she doesn't totally understand, something got through. :) At least Jesus came before the ice cream.
We brought our own Elmo tools to help with.
She jumped right in without hesitation - but what kid doesn't want to dig in the dirt and help with wheelbarrows! Come on! :)
Takin' a break after an entire hour of work! Whoa baby! :) She even got to drink kool-aid out of a big girl cup! Look out world! :)