Personally, I've had the opportunity to go on two mission trips (both of course before I was married or had kids. Seize the day young people!). I've gone to Brazil and Serbia and both trips were great experiences and certainly affected my outlook on life. I want to be able to expose our children to missions at a young age and the best way to do that right now is through books.
If you or your children want to read some books about missions, here are a few of my favorites:
(This book is appropriate for older elementary students through adult. It is an autobiography more than a book about missions. It is the story of Natasha Vins and the persecution her family faced in Russia as a result of their Christian faith.)
(This book is written by Elisabeth Elliot and is about the life of Amy Carmichael, an Irish missionary to India's orphans.)
(My absolute favorite! For highschoolers through adults. "This is the true story of a young American missionary woman's courage and triump of faith in the jungles of New Guinea and her four years in a notorious Japanese prison camp. Never to see her husband again, she was forced to sign a confession to a crime she did not commit and face the executioner's sword, only to be miraculously spared." source
(I used to read this to First Graders when I was a teacher, but it could easily be used for any elementary aged child. A favorite!)
With my son's Sonlight curriculum this year, we were introduced to two other books that help expose our children to the greatness of God on the mission field as well as the needs of people around the world.
The first is called Missionary Stories with the Millers and our children LOVE hearing these stories (although the first story was a little too mature for our children so we skipped that one).
The second is From Akebu to Zapotec: A Book of Bibless Peoples
(This one gives a brief description and picture of a Bibless People and their culture.)
And again, thanks to Sonlight, I can't wait to read this one to our children later in the school year...
Another idea my husband had was to make use of the missionary prayer letters that our church gives out each week. He decided to read one letter to our family at dinner each night. We then try to pray for that missionary family. We enjoy learning more about our missionaries and I think he had a great idea!
There are so many ways to interact with missionaries on the field these days. It wasn't all that long ago that communication was limited to an occasional phone call which tended to be expensive or a handwritten letter. And then of course, I think of Amy Carmichael who never took a furlough in 53 years back to her homeland of Ireland! What dedication.
Thanks to Skype you can not only send an instant message to a missionary, but you can also set up a microphone or even a video for live chats!
Skype has been the best way for me to keep in touch with my cousin and his family who teach English in a foreign country. I don't have video access, but we message each other often and occasionally even talk over Skype.
If you are able to, find out your church's missionaries' Skype contacts and let them know you are praying for them and thinking about them. It's easy to become lonely on the field and I'm sure they would love to know that someone is thinking about them and praying for them.
What are ways you expose your children to missions? Are there any great books you would recommend that I read or any that are appropriate for children? I would love to hear your suggestions. Please leave a comment letting me know. Thanks!