To Celebrate International Family Day…
I’m sitting on my couch snuggling a newborn!
She’s my fourth baby born while living in a country far away from family, working as a full time volunteer.
Sounds a bit crazy, but there are thousands of adventurous mums and dads just like us, and to celebrate one of my favourite YWAM values – “Families in Missions” – I thought I’d collate a list of the best reason to raise your kids in YWAM.
I rallied some help from a few of my friends to help, so enjoy!
10. The opportunity to meet lots of interesting people from around the world
Its true. My kids have had dinner hearing stories about Bangladesh, talked about adventures in countries I can’t even name here over pancakes, and regularly pretend to dance like Pacific Islanders. They are truly getting a multicultural upbringing.
9. Going on outreach as a family and getting kids involved in serving their community
While I have many friends raising families outside of a missions context who engage their kids in outreach, its nearly impossible not to have this lifestyle in YWAM. Getting my kids involved in volunteering and serving is something we’ve done pretty much since they could walk! I love their little hearts to help and look forward to this growing as they do.
8. They are very global
Because of their travels and making friends in so many places, my kids are slightly obsessed with maps and globes. They are always imagining travelling to exotic places like Papua New Guinea, or Peru.
7. They are multi-lingual
Okay, in full disclosure, this one doesn’t apply to our family (yet!) but MANY of my YWAM friends have kids who speak 3-4 different languages from a very young age! How cool is that!?
6. God provides, even when your family is far away
Sometimes this means a ticket for a family member to visit (my mom is here right now visiting!) and sometimes it means an amazing story of provision to take the entire family home for a visit. But often times, it means your friends doing your laundry and making you meals, or watching your kids at just the right moment. (Can you tell I’ve had some amazing help with my new babe!?) For some families, it means their teens having incredible mentors around to help them through the tough times. Its amazing!!
5. Flexible work environment
Being in an environment that values families all being a part together means that there are flexible options for families to engage. I know parents who job share, dads who stay home with the kids, mums who stay home with the kids, friends who share kid responsibility so both parents can participate. I love watching the ways that each family engages differently at each season of life and according to their gifts and faith.
4. Watching your kids engage their faith
Our kids are exposed to teaching, prayer and a lifestyle of faith at a really young age. I’m amazed at what they pick up and the things they say as they talk to God and listen to His voice.
3. Being with people who value kids
YWAM places tremendous value on the individual and I love the way our staff love our kids – not just as cute little people, but as individuals with contribution to our community.
2. Free babysitting
Not gonna lie. I am over the moon when a sweet 20-something girl who is great with kids says, “I’d love to watch the kids sometime so you and Jared can go on a date!” SCORE!!
1. It’s the right thing to do
At the end of the day, we do what we do because we know its right for us. I meet so many families who would love to do missions or join YWAM but think its impossible – financially or logistically. Once you take that first, scary, step of faith, there is nothing better than knowing you’re right where you need to be!
So, did we convince you? If so, consider bringing your family to our All Generations DTS in July!! I’ll be sure to share all of my favourite free babysitters with you!