Can I Keep Them Safe?
Missionary Life Seems Riskier with Missionary Kids
By Rachel C.
Living a life of adventure with God can be exciting. Cross-cultural church planters must be able to step out in faith to take risks and meet challenges. But those risks and challenges seem very different when there’s a new missionary kid in the mix.
Read Rachel’s story to see how God met her and her husband when she experienced the anxiety involved with bringing a child into her adventurous life.
The Romance of Adventure Became Scary
Fifteen years ago, I was full of adventure and spunk. I wanted to see the world and had no concern over what might happen to me in the process.
My husband, Dan,* was unimpressed with my reckless escapades, but he must have realized I would be willing to move to the edges of the Earth with him. Eventually, we fell madly in love and were married. When we discovered we were expecting our first child a few months later, I was enthusiastic. But later I felt anxious. One day a woman asked me if I was excited.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “This seems like a lot of responsibility.”
That responsibility scared me. I had a lot of questions for myself.
Mainly I wondered how I could keep him safe.
I went to the hospital to be induced. The nurses noticed something was wrong. I was having contractions I couldn’t feel, but the monitor revealed the contractions were suffocating my baby. When the doctor arrived, machines and people seemed to come out of the walls (If you’ve ever had an emergency C-section you know what I’m talking about). Twenty minutes later we were parents.
I was in la-la-land. Only later did I find out that Beau had been born blue, not breathing. Mistakes had been made. But God’s grace is abundant, and we were allowed to keep him.
God Is in Control, Despite the Risks
God showed Dan and me that He can save our little ones. I believe He allowed the circumstances of Beau’s birth because He knew my anxieties. God showed us He is in control.
So, we carried Beau and our two other children into a life of mission-field risk, questionable health, DIY education and what seems like homelessness at times. Now, we live in a North African city, enjoying the luxury of hospitals, a great school and caring Christian neighbors. But the majority of our journey has been very challenging.
When I say challenging, I want to acknowledge that we have chosen these challenges.
Three years ago, when our family climbed up to Ouzel Falls in the Rocky Mountains, we carried one son and coached Beau as he climbed. At any point, we could stop or turn around. It was a challenge we wanted to take on, and so we did. Last summer we hiked the Sleeping Bear Dunes in Northern Michigan. Beau led the pack.
Church planting in North Africa has been very similar to climbing the trail and hiking the dunes. We carried our children in, coached them along the way, and now they claim this life as their own. We are blessed to have them as partners, and we enthusiastically coach them and lead them to a point of walking the trail or climbing the dunes on their own.
Is your family considering church planting overseas? We’d love to have a conversation with you.
More resources about missionary kids
- Taylor grew up as a Pioneers missionary kid in Japan.
- Joe knew God was calling his family overseas, but his wife’s parents opposed the decision.
- Pioneers is committed to the protection of children.
Rachel C. and her family have served as church planters in North Africa for more than a decade.
* Names in this story have been changed.
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