Benefits of Raising Kids on the Mission Field

by Chris Lautsbaugh on July 10, 2013

Plenty of emphasis is placed on the dangers of raising children on the mission field. The thought of crime and disease sends shivers down the spine of a parent contemplating “the life overseas.”

Choosing missions for your kids causes them miss out on grandparents and culture in our home countries.

It becomes so easy to contemplate or fear whether our children will one day resent the choice we’ve made for them.

But, let’s be honest.

There are so many benefits to living on the field and having our children grow up in this atmosphere.

Let me share a story with you we recently experienced.

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Some rights reserved by Lyn Lomasi

Our oldest son has reached the age where the initial conversations about the birds and bees need to happen. As parents, my wife and I want to tell him these things before he hears it at school.

So I planned a special night away for “the talk.” As I began to share the big picture, something became quickly apparent.

He was totally clueless! At one point, he even asked if sex was a musical instrument (sax).

My wife and I are thrilled to have had our son make it to 8 1/2 years old and be completely clueless about these things. Growing up in our home country would have rendered this impossible.

Every situation, every culture, and every nation has negatives for children. I could give you a list of the things I do not like about raising my kids on the missions field.

But, I would rather give you a list of some of the benefits.

Other perks include:
International perspective.
Interracial perspective.
Less materialistic emphasis.
Less television.
Less cynical, critical, and sarcastic.

For all these I am grateful, and I believe my children have benefitted from “A Life Overseas.”

So now, it is your turn.

We all can name a negative or two(perhaps many), or list the sacrifices we have made on behalf of our kids.

But, what if we do the opposite?

Share a few of your benefits to raising children on the mission field. 

– Chris Lautsbaugh, Missionary teacher and author with Youth With A Mission, living in S. Africa.
Blog: NoSuperHeroes   Twitter: @lautsbaugh   Facebook: NoSuperHeroes

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About Chris Lautsbaugh

In missions for 20+ years currently in South Africa as a teacher and leadership coach. He serves side by side with wife, Lindsey, and two boys, Garett and Thabo. Blogs at NoSuperHeroes.com on grace, leadership, and missions. Wrote Death of the Modern SuperHero:How Grace Breaks our Rules.

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