Mission-minded kids

I remember going to a garage sale, when I was pregnant with my daughter, and seeing a young girl selling kool-aid. The little girl had to be about kindergarten. As I bought my little glass, the mom prompted her daughter, “Tell her what the money is for.” And she told me that she was making money to put in the mission’s offering in her Sunday School class. She went on to tell me a little about the missionary.

My son was barely old enough to talk and my daughter was still in utero, but I tucked that memory away, impressed that one so young could find a way to be involved. Now, my children are a little older. They can remember Daddy’s first missions trip and talk about what he did. And they understand, from those presenting at our church, what a missionary is. I’ve been excited about the next step. And as I’ve been planning our geography studies for our homeschool, I’ve run across some great missions resources that I thought I’d share.

  • Joshua Project: a project promoting awareness of unreached people groups. My husband and I have been receiving regular email updates from this website for awhile, in addition to using their Facebook App. Each day, we receive a picture and information on an unreached people group, a group where less than 2% know Christ. The information provided includes the obstacles, the amount of Scripture currently translated if any, and specific prayer requests for that group of people. This service also provides mini prayer cards for each people group, which is what I recently discovered and have put to use in our geography study. As we learn about the country, we will also learn about those within the country who need Christ. My recommendation: choose a people group card and/or a missionary card (from your church) to pray for each week. Seeing the people who need the missionaries will help your child connect to the need for missions in a way they might not otherwise understand.

  • Operation World: a resource on the specific prayer needs of every country in the world. The book is an expansive resource with information on the government and political atmosphere of the country as well as it’s spiritual needs and specific areas of prayer. It’s a little technical to be used with children, but a similar resource they have designed for children is Window on the World, much less expansive but still informative. The website tools are what I will actually use for the kids. In addition to some basic country information, it also connects me to the “Unreached People Group” prayer cards for that country. My recommendation: as you pray for your missionary and people group, find out a little information about the country they are in from Operation World (the book or the website). Share this information in conversation with your children as you are praying.

  • KidsonMission.org. Find weekly updated prayer requests from missionary kids, or download their free prayer journal that takes your child through the process of adopting and researching an unreached people group, including specific suggestions for prayer as your child completes the journal. Other resources include certificates, luggage tags, or download pages, all promoting learning about and praying for an unreached group of people. My recommendation: make it a family project during your family worship time, or print off a journal for each child and set a specific time to work on it together.
Our kids gain their passions largely from us, their love for a sport or sports team, their love for certain foods or vacation spots. And their passion for missions begins with us as well. My goal for our school year is that my children will see our passion for reaching others with the news of Christ, both through my husband’s direct involvement and through my encouraging them to learn about and pray for others.
Though I don’t yet have my kids selling kool-aid, I do remember that they are not too young to understand that people need the Lord.