Tuesday, June 01, 2004

short-term "mission trip" worry parents

short-term "mission trip" worry parents
Someone found this by googling: 'short-term "mission trip" worry parents'
I thought that was pretty interesting.
So I thought I would share a little bit about my perspective about parents worrying when their kids go on mission trips.
There is certainly enough to be worried about, outside of sending your kid to a foreign country or to the inner city. You can't be with your child at all times, knowing what they are doing, the people they are meeting, how their leaders are protecting and guiding them. And in a post 9-11 world, the circumstances, especially overseas, can escalate within a moments notice. One other thing about the post 9-11 world - it is a violent world, and we better get used to it. We will no longer be able to travel the world as citizens of America and be so well greeted. It's a tough edict of the new world, but one that we just will have to deal with. And as one who believes we need to build Christ-followers that have a correct worldview, violence based on what you believe is a real part of the world outside of America. We have no idea what persecution for our faith really is. Jesus came to draw people to Himself, out of false idols and religions, and the violence that our world has come to is part of that equation.
So, yes, lots to worry about.
On the other hand, I have met a handful of families that would, as one way to put it, love to sign one permission form for their childen's whole high school careers. Worry is not part of their worldview. Their child's safety certainly is important, but its not even close to dominating their decisions about their children. It's quite intruiging, especially since I am certainly not on this side of the scale. Why are they like that? How can I be more so? I think some of it comes to an issue of faith. They probably have more faith than I have. But I think it's more than just the idea that God will take care of their children. Because, in the end, that's a pretty shallow theology. I think, and I might be wrong, that it's more the idea that God has placed our family on mission and whatever comes will come. It is a sense of an overriding direction and purpose, driving not only the kids, but the parents as well. So the mission trip is, in a sense, the opportunity when the child is released into the world, from the family, to fulfill their passion and destiny. One other component with these families, I think they have prepared their kids so well, worrying about their decision making, the activities they will be doing while unsupervised, the character that has been ingrained in these kids, their levels of responsibility, all of these seem to be a nonissue too. I think it becomes not so much as what could happen to my kid as what a great opportunity for growth and purpose and he/she is ready for it.
It reminds me of this:
"When we believe that God’s purpose, intention or promise is that we will be safe from harm, we are utterly disconnected from the movement and power of God." - McManus
I hope this helps the person that googled that phrase.

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