One thing that is of great importance but never really is mentioned is the life of missionary children. I think one of our greatest fears as foreign missionaries is that our children will miss out on things. Also that they may miss key elements of family life and education. I truly believe that while those things may happen, that God is faithful to supply alternate sources and make up what could be lacking.
This has been particularly true in our family. Since we have been on the Missionfield, we have always home schooled our children. For the most part, it has taken place in Malawi. And when I say "we", I mean my wife has home schooled our children . One blessing that has been so evident is the need for friends that missionary children have. God has given our children many circles of friends that go way beyond their culture and help them develop socially. They started out with having friends in the church. I think of 4 children in particular: the children of two couples who have been in the church from the beginning. Joe Jr., Gloria, Blessings, and Chimwewe (Joy in English), these guys did everything together around the church. We would visit their homes and they would visit our home. In the beginning their English wasn't great but they grew. Also it was a great chance for my girls to learn how to teach others. Children are fast learners and they learn the best from each other.
God also blessed my wife and two other missionary wives with the idea to start a home school group. Originally it started with 5 homeschool families taking turns once a month to share lessons with the group, now 3 years later there are 15 families and all types of activities shared. Again God gave my children another large circle of friends many of whom are American missionary kids. Also we gained many friends and help from brothers and sisters in Christ.
|Friends in Malawi
|Homeschool Co-op in Malawi
|Homeschool co-op Malawi - Judo with Chris
Lastly is the great blessing of coming home to Baltimore every year. In missionary circles, the idea of going back to America every year is unheard of and impractical. Usually they go back on "furlough" ever 3 years. Although the expense is great, we look at it as a faith journey every year.
God is so faithful to always provide for us to come back to Baltimore and soak up the fellowship. We look at it as a necessity. The Baltimore experience would not be complete without a visit to Camp Life. Although it delays our trip back to Malawi, it is well worth the extra time to invest spiritually in our children. For the past 3 years, God has used so many precious saints to make sure that our kids go to camp. And they talk about it the whole next year. We are so thankful to the youth leaders who lay down their lives to make this time memorable.
Please pray for us:
-New Church Plant at the end of the year in the Northern City of Mzuzu
-The next school year for Julie and the girls: Julie will continue to homeschool, but we will begin to raise the money for a fund for the girls schooling. By grace
we can raise their tuition money for school year after this.
-2 Great MBCS students will be joining us for the upcoming year, pray for their
time, protection, and great impartation of the Spirit.
Our summer continues.... in pictures...
|GG Church of Silverspring. Ladies from Malawi that are relatives to some of our church members in Malawi..
|Petersen family- Great friends in Maryland