We want our kids to have a global outlook. We want them to be aware of missionaries. We want them to pray for kids who know Christ in other countries (and of course, the kids who don’t know Christ in those countries.)
But how do we do that? How do we familiarize them with other cultures?
Here are some ideas to use in your home … and your ministry.
*Have your kids make passports. As you study different countries, they could paste or draw a picture of the country on the page and also list prayer needs. See how many countries your family (or ministry) can visit this year.
*Get to know a missionary family that you or your church supports. Invite them to your home when they’re in the area. Include your kids as you talk to the missionaries and allow them to ask questions. If they have kids the same age as your kids, encourage them to connect via social media or as pen pals.
*Go a step further and “adopt” the family. Send birthday greetings. Follow their schedule. If your families become particularly close, why not make it a family project to save enough money to visit them in the other country. (Obviously, this is not always practical, but could depend on where the family’s ministry is located.) What can you do to help them while you’re there? Paint? Address envelopes? Give some tech support? Be a guest speaker at a church or guest teacher in a classroom? Ask the missionaries what your family could do to be a real help.
*Pray for the family regularly, and let them know you are praying.
*Save money for a specific need for the missionary. This can work both at home or at church. Do the MKs need a computer for school? Does the family need a refrigerator or new car? Teaching kids to give by working toward a specific goal works well.
*Learn the language of another country. No, not so you speak it fluently, but at least a greeting or why not learn John 3;16? BibleGateway.com has online Bibles in several different languages.
*Read books about missionaries. Church libraries are a good resource.
*Paint a missions mural on a classroom wall at church (of course, with permission) or if you can’t to that, why not a chalk mural on the church parking lot?
*Get to know a family from a different culture who lives in your hometown. Invite them for dinner. Ask them about their foods. Do they attend a Bible-believing church with others of their ethnicity? Attend with them sometime and invite them to attend your church.
*Cook a meal from another country. A good place to start is the kids page on the Wycliffe.org website. They feature international recipes.
*Do a service project for your own community. Make place mats for residents of a nursing home. Put together craft bags for the kids in a pediatric ward. Of course, any time you do that, you need to get permission and guidelines from the place itself. (Even though the rules might not make sense to you, follow them closely. There are reasons for rules.)
*Research games played in other countries. (Ask missionaries or people you know from that country.) Play the games with your own kids or your ministry kids.