As you know, if you’ve been reading, for quite some time, I’ve occasionally been running little installments called “Mama’s K.I.S.S.” I know that lots of readers could give many more and far more creative ideas than I can offer, but these installments are just a few tried and true and mostly old-fashioned ideas for putting service hearts in our kids. This is number 57 of a list of one hundred ways we train our kids to serve. K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Kids In Service Suggestions”.
Now I know, that taking your teen on a mission trip in a third world country seems to be a bigger deal than just a practical suggestion to help your children develop their “servant potential.” But if you have teens who are living in affluent middle-class America, a third-world mission trip can be the game-changer that keeps them from trying to be in love with “things” and God at the same time. We cannot serve God and mammon (Matthew 6:24).
I remember well, coming home from a very poverty ridden part of a Carribbean country with my fifteen-year-old and that first time she fell down on her bed in our home and said “Why me? Why has God given me all of this and there are eight people living in a space the size of this room, where I was two days ago? How can this be? I never knew. I just never knew.” And her heart was given to mission work from that moment on.
The trip was a big investment of time and of the money of other Christians who supported her. But she walked side by side on dusty roads and uphill trails beside some amazing missionaries who made sure she was learning to do one-on-one Bible studies and learning to teach children while their parents were studying.
And God made sure she watched the first person she had personally taught on that field be immersed into Christ before we came home. Her name was Princess and she became one that day, She was one of those living at the top of a “rabbit trail” with those eight people in a tiny space. Princess’ grandmother was out in the yard grinding spices to sell for their meager existence. We will never forget.
I’m so thankful I got to do that trip with my teenager. And the investment was nothing when you consider the return.