In May of this year I had the opportunity to host two very special friends of mine. One of my friends, Cheryl, had the opportunity to bring her husband and 15 year old daughter, Eden. After the trip I asked Cheryl to write down her thoughts as she watched her daughter experience the mission field for the first time. As you read this I encourage you to open your heart to visiting a mission field as a family. The Lord is doing amazing things all over the world and I can’t imagine a better opportunity than to be able to share those things with my family. Enjoy!
As a parent, there are many opportunities that you want to give your children: a loving, Christian home, unconditional love, nice clothes, the latest electronics, and the list goes on and on. However, in the process of giving them those material things, we should always keep in mind,that it is the spiritual needs of our children that are the most important. Knowing that my 15 year old daughter has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and that she has a desire to know Him more intimately is a priceless treasure that I value beyond all else! Recently we had an opportunity as a family that would grow her even more as a child of God— we visited our sweet missionary friend, Autumn, in India. This was a life-changing experience for my daughter.
Going to India was a blessing for a number of reasons. We were able to spend time with Autumn, see “her world”, meet new friends, and visit a lot of places. As great as that was, those weren’t the best things about our visit! As a family, one of our very favorite parts of the trip was the day we visited Patel Nagar and had an Easter party with a group of around 30 children. To get to the place where the party was held was no simple task. After lots of windy roads and walking through narrow pathways, we arrived to many smiling friendly faces who welcomed us with open arms. There was an eagerness in their faces. They were happy to see people who had taken the time to do something special for them. It was there that my daughter saw children with very little material possessions. Regardless of what they did not have, they were happy! They were there to learn about Jesus! As a group, we all sang “Jesus Loves Me”. My daughter teared up during this song. “Jesus Loves Me”. She had heard that song since she was a baby! The difference was that she could see that these children were not just singing repetitious words they had heard all their lives. It had meaning. That event in itself taught my daughter that we should not take God’s love for granted or sing vain repetitious words. God has gifted her with a beautiful voice and she wants to use it to sing for His glory. Because of what we experienced in India, “Jesus Loves Me” has new meaning. We will always be able to think of those beautiful faces singing from their hearts about a love that they have not known since they were babies. Not all of those children know Jesus, but my prayer is that on that special day in Patel Nagar, some of them felt that love for the first time and that they will come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
I am forever grateful for the opportunity my family had to visit India. It was a priceless treasure that we will forever remember. We hope to visit again and have another story to tell.
Thankful and Blessed,