When God Calls Your Child to be a Missionary

May 28, 2024

Our second-born, Kaleb, flew over the ocean to England, last week.. He’ll be gone for ten weeks, on a mission trip, serving people in Romania. Last year, he spent ten weeks serving at a parish in York, England. You’d think the parting would get easier, but I can honestly tell you: I’ve shed some tears! Last year it may have been a little easier because he lived in the dorm all year & only came home on Sundays after church, so it was common that he him being out of the house most of the time. This school year, he lived at home and commuted, and we all got used to having him around. Plus, for some reason, England feels a little safer in my head than Romania does (maybe it’s because they speak English). I know that’s crazy. 

When Kaleb was 6 years old, he told us that he knew God was calling him to be a missionary. We embraced it! These are some things that worked for us & I want to encourage you to do these things:

  1. Encourage them & let go of the fears. They’re not ours, we’re just entrusted,= by God, to raise them–they’re His. See, we went through all of the missionary biographies as the kids grew up. We even spent a year going through a missionary curriculum that Ann Dunnagan created. Our family also loves the YWAM Christian Heroes series by Geoff and Janet Benge! I know how some of those stories turn out–like Jim Elliot–the Stams–I bet you’ve heard the stories. But I have to let it go–Kaleb is 21 years old and called by God to go to this place. Who am I to argue with that? Or to keep him here, selfishly, for myself? Yes, it’s hard. But–I believe in a BIG God who has a beautiful big picture that I can’t see. I trust Him.
  2. Embrace it–go to missions conferences, read missionary biographies, and have missionaries over to dinner. We did all of that & I think it was all worthwhile! We used to attend Mission Connexion in Oregon & it was so good for our whole family.
  3. Pray!!! God will guide your child and also comfort you!
  4. Give as you can. Let your child ask others in the church, in their friend group & in the family for funds to support the work they’re doing overseas–it’s good for them to have to do this. And, when they’re in a pinch and they need to buy plane tickets right away but the check hasn’t come in–be there for your kid, if you can.


Your child may not also embrace the idea of missions, but I believe that if God truly put it in your child's heart, He'll bring it to light again. Sadly, Kaleb stopped talking about it around his middle school years, and up through his freshman year in college. He’d been around some other kids who came from pretty wealthy families & then desires for a nice car and a nice house crept in, and those goals seemed like they might not fit with the life of a missionary. He entered college at Liberty University with a goal of working in the music industry in Nashville--which Kaleb totally has the talent for, but it had nothing to do with missions. Then, one day at LU's convocation, Kaleb heard David Platt speak. I love David Platt's messages, because he reminds Christians what our role is on this earth. Kaleb came home and asked “Mom, why did I ever stop talking about missions? I KNOW God put it on my heart.” That was a wonderful conversation! That year, Kaleb went to Englad all summer. This year, he's in Romania. He isn't sure what the future (after college) will hold, but he trusts (and we trust) that God will direct his path.


This is me & Kaleb, cooking Greek food before he left. He's probably going to try actual Greek food, because his debrief week is in Greece. Yum.


Please pray for Kaleb this summer!


Do you have a child who wants to be a missionary?


Do you have any other tips? Any mamas of missionaries out there?

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