Why Study Missionaries?

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I’m just jumping right in here on the new blog!  But, this is something that I have grown to love, so I’m eager to tell you more about it.  About two years ago, we started this crazy thing called homeschool, and like I’ve said to several people, I think it has impacted my life just as much (if not more than) my kids’ lives.  Last year, we made the switch to Sonlight, and what a huge blessing that turned out to be!  Last year’s Sonlight core had a heavy emphasis on world missions, and it truly impacted our family in ways that I never anticipated.  One of those ways was giving us, giving ME, a heart for missions.

 

And today, I want to tell you why it’s SO important to teach your own children, and your children at church about missionaries. 

1.  Missionaries inspire us.  Kids are taught almost from birth about the many different professions.  We give them doctor kits and let them listen to our hearts, we give them a white board and markers and let them teach their stuffed animals.  In our case, we give them PVC pipe and let them put it together (plumber’s family!).  What if we told them about missionaries and people who do great things for God every day?  How would that shape their lives?  Their thoughts?  Their future?

2.  Missionaries give us REAL heros.  Kids LOVE Superman, Spiderman, Barbie, etc, etc, etc….and honestly, I cringe when my kids ask for the newest Barbie doll or Superman action figure.  The violence in the “superhero” movies and the materialism of Barbie makes me want to vomit most of the time.  But, the reality is that kids desperately need role models (aside from their parents-parents are a given!) to look up to.  We need to provide them with those role models who exemplify Christ-like characteristics, who spend their lives giving God glory, who give up everything to take God’s Word to the ends of the earth.  Yes, THOSE are the real earthly heroes.  Those are the ones that I hope my kids want to “be like.” 

3.  Studying missions shows us REAL persecution and REAL suffering.  The Bible tells us clearly that as Christians, we will experience persecution and suffering, but we Americans, truthfully, know little of this.  So often, we think that our friends deserting us because of our beliefs is suffering, and it is!  But it isn’t anything like the suffering going on in the world.  There are Christians all over the world being truly persecuted for their belief in God.  They are dying, being tortured and terribly mistreated, simply because they believe.  There are countries where it is illegal to worship God, and sadly, many of our children don’t know about this.  They don’t know what a privilege it is to get to go to church freely.  They don’t understand how great it is to have the right to say loudly in the street, in the media, “I believe in God!”  I believe that when we teach our children about missionaries around the world, we will view our “sufferings” and “persecutions” in a much different light. 

4.  Missionaries increase our faith in God.  Last year, we read about George Mueller.  It was life-changing for us, and I don’t mean that lightly.  Reading about how he took 200 orphans and depended solely on God to provide day-to-day….words cannot express how his story of God’s provision increased my faith.  Because of the stories of missionaries and great people of faith, my children know that God is BIG and can do BIG things. 

5.  Missionaries prove God’s sovereignty.  What a difficult subject for us to understand.  In our reading of George Mueller and Gladys Aylward, we read stories of great provision….but also of great heartache.  It makes you ask yourself (it makes your kids ask you!), “Why did that happen to them?”  And it comes down to God’s sovereignty.  He is sovereign.  The good and the bad, the highs and lows are all a part of God’s will for our life.  What is God’s will for our life?  That’s actually a simple answer:  God’s will for us is sanctification, and everything that happens to us is part of the process of sanctification.  When we read about difficult things happening to good people, and read about what happened afterward, and how that shaped their life, it helps us and our children get a big picture of God’s sovereignty at work in our lives.  What a gift…at such a young age, to have some understanding of this. 

I truly believe that studying missionaries and people of faith is a huge part of raising children in the way they should go.  In 1 Corinthians 11:1, Paul says, “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ.”  We need people in our lives who encourage us to live like Christ.  We need people to look to, to imitate.  Our children need it too. 

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Here are a few resources to get you started:

George Mueller Children’s Biography

Gladys Aylward Children’s Biography

Heroes of the Faith Series (Entire Set)

 

{Disclosure:  If you are interested in Sonlight curriculum and you use the link provided above, our family will receive Sonlight rewards, a credit toward our next purchase.  Thanks!}

 

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2 thoughts on “Why Study Missionaries?

  1. Oh I loved this post. I didn’t get a chance to visiting all the links last week so I am glad that Jess featured you. I happened to write a post today about when I as a young child studied missions and missionaries. Your post was great and I hope that you get lots of traffic so that others can be inspired to study and be a part of missions. I hope you don’t mind I am including the link to my post.
    I hope you get a chance to read it! Thanks for sharing your heart.

    http://myjourneyback-thejourneyback.blogspot.com/2014/08/count-down-to-christmas-4-christmas-in.html

    Like

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