Sunday, October 9, 2011

How to Bless Missionary Kids

I had never really thought about it before.  What would be a real special treat for the kids?  What would be something so unusual that they would cherish every moment?  What would be so exciting that their voices would rise above a crowd?  What could awaken their spirits that they couldn't fall asleep at night?  Seriously, it had never entered my mind before.  But it happened, unexpectedly and thoroughly delightfully:

Lian with the kids at the castle
A nine-year-old boy became a friend.

Lian came with his mom and dad on a short-term mission's trip to Ukraine.  His parents came to encourage church leaders in biblical worship of God.  Lian came along for the experience, but ended up being a tool which God used to encourage and bless three young missionary kids. 

I don't usually think about the sacrifices our children make living on the mission field.  Sure, there are plenty of privileges and advantages to growing up overseas.  But there are most certainly sacrifices too.  We have seen this most poignantly with Matthew.  He's usually a quiet boy who prefers to stay at home and play with Star Wars figures.  He struggles with speaking Ukrainian and Hungarian and is therefore shy around people.  Most of our acquaintances have daughters and there is really no other boy for Matthew to call a friend. 

When Lian arrived, Matthew became alive with energy and enthusiasm.  There was no language barrier to hamper their imaginative play.  Lian wholeheartedly played alongside Matthew as if the three year's age difference didn't even exist. 

The children spent just shy of 6 days together - hiking to up to a castle, jumping from one gold stone to another in order to avoid the hot lava, racing cars in the children's room, having a sleep-over, and struggling to piece together a deformed Chinese-made Lego-imitation. They were good, special days.

Who would have known that a nine year old boy could have brought so much joy and blessing to one week in the life of three young missionary kids?  Thank you, Lian! 


  1. Thank you, Sarah, for posting this. I'm Henny Vroege, Lian's Nana and Dave's mom. We (my husband and I) live in Edmonton, but we're in Halifax taking care of Asher, Lian's two-year-old brother.

    What a blessing for me to read how Lian has been a blessing for you and your children. It hadn't occurred to me either, that that would be so. And I'm sure that he, too, was blessed.

    Thank you so much for your hospitality and love towards David and Carrie and Lian. We miss them very much, but we're very grateful that they were privileged to make this trip.

    God bless and keep you and your loved ones, and may He (continue to) bless you richly in your ministry.

  2. Hi Sarah!
    I got your email and I'll respond properly when I get a chance. Thanks for this beautiful post, Lian feels special!