A Real Trip

Think you can't pull off a family missions experience? Meet a family that will prove you wrong.

Are you sure you'll be safe?" "Maybe you should try something smaller first…" When we told friends and family we were thinking about taking a family missions trip, the general reaction was less than enthusiastic. They thought we were three seats short of a full flight to pack up our grade-school age kids and travel to the other side of the world with a group of strangers just to help out at an orphanage. Did we really think our girls could—and should—minister beside their parents so far from home, eating, sleeping, and (worse) going to the bathroom in strange places?

Well, yes.

Traditionally, short-term missions are the province of youth groups and adults who want the chance to minister to other cultures without quitting their day jobs, if you will. But Adam Henry of the relief and development organization Food for the Hungry says that's starting to change. "More and more, families are beginning to inquire about the possibilities of serving together," says Henry. "I see it as beneficial—a child able to see parents serve the Lord. Children become world Christians."

My husband and I had talked about the idea for three years, but it never seemed to feel quite right. Yet as our girls got older, I saw them adapting more to our relatively easy life in the suburbs. Yes, they went to church every week and learned the evils of sin, but what about the evils of complacency? I feared that our culture of prosperity and instant gratification would slowly numb them into being careless Christians, unaware of and unconcerned with the hurting world beyond their comfortable lives.

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