Our kitchen world map is one of my favorite spots in our home. The map itself was given to us from friends and Marty added the framework to give it just the right touch to our wall. The three clocks above it coincide with the three push pins in the map. The first push pin literally covers the entire country of Lesotho, Africa. I did not even know that this country existed until some of our college friends moved there from Ecuador as missionaries. The second pin helps us to pray for our friends in East Asia. As they work in a country that is known for persecuting Christians, we can look at that clock and pray for their ministry there. The third pin is one that is near and dear to us, the island of Okinawa, Japan. I pray we'll be able to visit Okinawa with our girls in the next few years, since my parents will be returning there within a month and half. The girls are already excited about visiting (even if it's three years away). We need to add another pin soon as my sister and her family will be traveling as well within the year to Ghana, Africa.
My point in sharing our map is to emphasize the importance of giving our children (homeschool or not) a missional mindset. It's been amazing to walk alongside my girls as we pray and support some of these missionaries. Having grown up on the mission field, I have been blessed by the encouragement of those who could not go.
A few ideas of guiding your children to have a missional mindset:
- support missionaries (read their letters to your children, show them where they live on a world map, send gifts when possible)
- take missionaries out to eat when they are home in the States
- read missionary biographies together or put readable books in their hands (My favorites growing up were Hudson Taylor and Amy Carmichael)
- Our favorite books right now: Trailblazer books (fictional stories based on real missionaries and martyrs), You Can Change the World by OM (devotional type book), Window on the World (how to pray for countries around the world)
- get involved in a local church that has a heart for missions (We are blessed to be a part of such a church. The children learn about missions each Wednesday night, but also get opportunities to be involved in local missions through Raleigh Rescue Mission and With Love From Jesus.)
There are so many more wonderful resources and other ideas as well. Feel free to share in the comments as I'd love to learn more. It is so important for all of us parents to remember not to get lost in the activities, books, and the "doing good" part, but get to the heart of the matter, that these people need Jesus. Just as Jesus loves my girls and died for them, He also loves the people of Lesotho and Okinawa. But we need to pray the He'll send missionaries, that Bibles will be printed in their languages, and to be willing to go if He calls.