Helping Our Kids Gain a Heart for the Nations


By Linnette Bachman

As a child, I rarely considered God’s heart for people in other Nations. Whenever I didn’t want to eat my dinner, I was told about poor starving children elsewhere in the world. I wished I could ship them my green peas.

As I have grown in my relationship with the Lord, He has given me a heart for the Nations. Reading missionary biographies and hearing stories of both the need and the movement of the Holy Spirit in other countries captures my heart and fuels my passion for campus. I so desire to play a part in sending many to the farthest places of the world. I’ve wrestled with going myself. And I pray that my kids will gain this same passion and wrestle with going as well.

Here are some ways we are helping our kids gain a heart for the Nations:

1. We pray. Dave and I pray for our kids and with our kids about people who’ve never heard the Good News and for openness to share with them.

2. We look at maps. Years ago, we printed and laminated a world map and then put stickers on the countries with names of missionaries we know on them. This map has been a placemat on the kitchen table, a part of circle time during homeschool, and a mainstay in the front of our Bible.

3. We sponsor a Compassion child. One year for Christmas, we selected a girl, named Believe, the same age as our oldest daughter. We pray for her regularly, write back and forth, and each year the girls do a lemonade stand on the day of our neighborhood yard sale to make money to send for Believe’s birthday. She feels like a member of our family.

4. We read missionary biographies as a family. These stories are inspiring and challenging and faith-building. Here are some of our favorites:

5. We go to International student events on campus. This year we attended the Asian New Year Festival on campus, and it was amazing! There were so many people of different backgrounds in the room, and the show was full of dancing, music, colors, and traditions. The kids loved it!

6. We spend time with visiting missionaries. Often missionaries will come for campus visits when they have children who are high school juniors, and these are prime opportunities to take them to dinner, share about our ministry, and let them share with us about life in their country.

Here are two things I hope to do in the future:
  • I would love to invite International students into our home. We invited several for Thanksgiving dinner this year, but it didn’t pan out. I would love for our kids to experience and learn from these students, and I would love for our family to share Christ with them. 
  • I would love to go overseas as a family. I think this is such an amazing opportunity for our family to have exposure to new cultures and the needs and opportunities outside of our country and be able to minister together. 
I’ve shared before how I hope my five kids are my greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God—I pray they will be spiritual giants willing to say “YES!” to the Lord no matter what He would ask. And I pray that as a mom I will not hold them back with my own fears but strengthen and propel them forward.

What are ways you talk about the Nations in your home? I would love to learn from you!

Linnette and her husband Dave began their marriage and Nav staff career twelve years ago (EDGE and SIT at Colorado State) and they currently lead the collegiate Nav ministries in Nashville. They have five children: Kate (9), Kylie (8), McKenzie (6), Daniel (4), and Andrew (baby).  Linnette and Dave are passionate about the shared mission of raising up disciple-makers and raising up their kids.


Comments

  1. Lynnette, you always have Dutch practical ideas. That is so helpful. Love the lemonade stand, an easy and practical way to celebrate Believe and your children have ownership.

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  2. Thanks Sue! The kids really enjoy the lemonade stand-- and people are very generous when they hear what it is for. Would love to hear your ideas, too.

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  3. We love Christian heros then and now. We also have a copy Operation World always on our table with a small globe. We talk about the country for the day at meals it when world events come up we look at a specific country.

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  4. Christian Heros then and now are GREAT! Thanks for mentioning those. Where can we get updated Operation World books? Do you know?
    I love the idea of keeping a globe on the table. Thanks for sharing, Sharon!

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