As a parent, the missionary trip your son or daughter is about to take may be the first time he or she has been away from you. Except, perhaps, summer camp. But that’s not exactly the same thing, is it?
Now they’re traveling thousands of miles to spread the word of the Lord. They’re traveling to a different country, where there may be language and cultural hurdles to overcome. They may not have the benefit of traveling with people they know.
Believe me when I say that the fears you have are mirrored by those of your child. If ever you needed God’s strength, it is now. It’s your task to offer words of encouragement for the mission trip your child is about to undertake.
Let your child know they are inspirational
What your child is about to do is an amazing thing. It’s tough for you to say goodbye and entrust their wellbeing to another. It’s tough for them to say goodbye to you.
Let you child know how amazing you think they are. Tell them that it is their calling to go and spread the word of God, and that their faith will keep them safe from harm.
Leave them in no doubt that you love them, and that they make you proud. Of course, you’ll miss them – but remember that your words will define how they approach the mission trip. It’s important to remain upbeat and ensure their initial excitement doesn’t wane.
Help your child prepare for the mission
Before your child travels, spend time together to learn about the country they are visiting. Read about the people, the food and the culture. Discuss the differences your child will encounter, and how trust in God will lead them through all difficulties.
Keep in touch when they’re away
Even if your child’s mission is radio silent for a few days, because of a lack of Internet and airwave connections, you can keep in touch:
- Pack them off with a book that will offer them inspiration. Write a note in it, so that every time they pick it up they know you are with them all the way.
- Put Post-It notes in their luggage
- One of the most encouraging acts I’ve heard of is the mother who took the time to pack a daily journal in her son’s belongings. It covered the entire time he was due to be away. A page per day. On each page, she had written a passage from the Bible and a personal note from herself. Upon his return, the son told his mother that it had felt like she was with him, holding his hand every day. When things got tough, he simply had to open his journal. He presented it to her as a gift. In it he had detailed the events of each day, and written a personal note in return to his mother.
Now is the time for your child to act on their calling
There will be people who say your child is not ready to go on a mission trip. But are any of us truly ready for life’s big events? Who can say they were fully prepared for marriage, or parenthood, or to be a dying parent’s carer?
Unless your child takes the bull by the horns and goes for it, they’ll never be ready. There is no time like the present to take up God’s calling.
Contact us today and we’ll help you with the practical side of planning a mission trip. We’ll offer you advice on destination, medical requirements, the best clothing, and travel plans that ensure your child’s missionary trip is a complete success.