8 Survival Tips for Families with Kids in Missions

Share on Facebook12Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+1Email this to someone

This is a guest article written by Chris Lautsbaugh, a missionary to South Africa.  If you’d like to be a guest writer on MissionsManual.com click here.

Parenting is challenging in everyday life. When you add the obstacles of the missions field to an already difficult endeavor, it can feel like a game of survival.

Here are 8 tips for survival on the missions field with children:

1. Pursue obedience.  The Christian life requires us to count the cost. Ultimately life on the missions field is the same as any other occupation. We need to be obedient to the Lord.

The mission field brings with it certain occupational hazards. Within the first year of arriving in South Africa, my son was diagnosed with an assortment of random sicknesses such as Roseola, German Measles, and Hepatitus A. Even diseases he was immunized for in the US, but were not the same strain when we arrived in Africa. It brings pain to see your kids suffer for the choices of the parents, but we need to trust God and be obedient

2. Maintain your priorities.  It’s easy to say “Family first, ministry second” (of course God is ultimately first). Walking this out and adjusting to the changing seasons of a family can be imposing.

My sons still struggle at times when I walk out the door for ministry. It is essential in missions to create boundaries. These must change in various seasons of life and ministry.

This is an area I personally struggle in since “work” is readily accessible on my laptop any time of the day. I aim to set firmer boundaries on my work time to support the value I have on family.

3. Maintain your marriage.  You must go on date nights and set times to connect with your spouse. You owe it to your kids to love your spouse and invest in this relationship A poor marital relationship will spill over into the life of the family. As well, the stresses of ministry cannot be compartmentalized. They affect your marriage.

4. Accept reality.  Kids slows down the pace of ministry. Many try to fight this reality only to collapse in exhaustion. In order to maintain your priorities, you need to say “No” to many opportunities. Late nights of ministry can no longer occur for both parents.

As the children get older, you must factor in time for schooling, whether traditional or home schooling. No one speaks of this glamorous phase of the missionary family life.

In my opinion, having kids on the field makes juggling ministry harder, naturally creating more space and balance in both your personal and family life.

5. Involve your kids.  My kids love being involved in the ministry. They enjoy having people over. We share stories at the dinner table of what is happening in people’s lives. We have plans for them to begin traveling with me on ministry trips.

6. Find friends.  This is most important for the children, but nearly as key for the parents. Our lives as a family in missions improved greatly when we found other families with children of a similar age as our own, and they were not co-workers. This gives us an outlet to relax and the kids time to connect and play.

7. Happy kids create long term workers.  Keeping your children happy and connected can actually lengthen your time on the field. If my kids were struggling, the temptation to return home would be greater. Now, with our kids loving South Africa, the thought of returning home is harder to envision than remaining and upsetting their lives!  Engaging in missions as a family creates stability, lengthening your stay.

8. Give yourself grace!!  The season of parenting coupled with missions is a stretching and difficult one. It seems you engage in many activities, but none of them are done particularly well. Your marriage is not as close as it once was. Your ministry is curtailed by the new responsibilities parenting brings.

The good news is there is grace. God does not base our acceptance upon ministry numbers or being the perfect spouse or parent. He understands the seasons of life. He created them after all!

Can you accept His grace and show it to yourself and spouse?

I previously wrote a post on my blog with a few similarities to this article entitled : “Keeping Ministry Attractive to your Children” The article contains some different points from a child’s perspective. Go have a look!

What other survival tips can you add to the list? What has been your experience as a family on the field?

Chris Lautsbaugh

Chris Lautsbaugh lives in Muizenberg, South Africa. He serves with Youth With a Mission (YWAM), teaching and training internationals to be missionaries and church leaders. Together with his wife Lindsey, they lead and steward training programs and ministries in and around Cape Town, reaching out to under privileged communities, planting churches, and meeting needs associated with the issues South Africa is facing. They have been in missions for 35 combined years. They serve together with their two boys, Garett and Thabo.

Chris blogs at www.nosuperheroes.com and has published a book on grace, Death of the Modern Superhero:How Grace Breaks our Rules.

Share on Facebook12Tweet about this on Twitter0Share on Google+1Email this to someone
  • http://www.ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman

    Great advice Chris. Number 8 made a difference for us recently. We were selecting a new mission locale and had several candidate cities. We asked our kids (girls 13 and 15) their thoughts. They gave their opinions and we prayed. God moved us to the city the chose. We have been here a month and it has truly been a smart move.

    • http://www.cucmesari.com recommended you read

      I simply want to mention I am just newbie to blogging and site-building and definitely liked your blog. Most likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog . You absolutely have excellent writings. Thanks for sharing with us your website page.

  • Pingback: Saving on Flights, Raising Kids, and Beards | Missions Manual()

  • https://www.facebook.com/seovps1 seo vps with tools installed

    Actually when someone doesn’t be aware of afterward its up to other users that
    they will help, so here it happens.

  • http://www.phentermine.com phentermine

    Happy MotivationMonday!! Make this your new mantra and
    unleash your inner warrior tonight at the gym! Trust us, your body will thank you for
    it!! Unlock the key to weight loss by following these great tips to boost your metabolism EVEN MORE with phentermine!
    The nights are drawing in and the weather is changing but you can’t let that stop you from working out –
    remember that summer bodies are made in winter! Time for another ThrowbackThursday Phentermine Success Story!
    Check out Naomi’s bikini body in the ‘after’ shot if you need some motivation to get to the gym tonight!
    Phentermine.com Hi Karen! If you wanted to buy phentermine,
    unfortunately you can’t as it is a prescription-only medication. However,
    we recommend a phentermine-alternative called Phen Caps which don’t contain phentermine
    and so they are available online, and they ship worldwide.
    Like phentermine, Phen Caps suppress your appetite and boost your energy levels but they have no
    side effects and you can take them for as long as you need to reach your goal weight.
    Here is a link for you to find out more Over 73% of those polled on our forum
    said that they experienced the dry mouth side effect with phentermine, but you don’t have
    to suffer any more! Try great tasting Phen Drink to stop dry mouth, give
    your water a flavor hit AND boost metabolism!
    Happy FunFriday! Remember, occasional treats are a
    great way to stay motivated, but cheating
    on your diet only means cheating yourself! Want to know how to get a phentermine prescription?
    Not sure how it works? Wondering about side effects?
    Check this out for the answers to ALL your questions about phentermine!
    To celebrate our great phentermine.com fans who love phentermine,
    we’ve made a list of our favorite tweets from you,
    our phentermine fans on twitter! So, did you make the list this time?!
    DIET TIP: Keep a food diary and track your calories but also remember to note down feelings,
    food associations and any cravings you have so you can analyse your eating patterns
    and help break the cycle! Happy ColumbusDay everyone! To celebrate,
    we have some great ideas to motivate you on your weight loss journey
    with phentermine, inspired by the great man himself!
    The active ingredients in generic phentermine pills are
    chemically identical to the branded alternatives.
    Medications are partly made up of inactive ingredients which help formulate the active ingredient (phentermine) into a tablet or capsule.
    Different manufacturers may employ different inactive ingredients and this is why phentermine
    pills vary in shape and appearance. Inactive ingredients may also have an effect on factors, such as how quickly the drug is absorbed into your body.The form of
    generic phentermine pills pictured above are manufactured
    by Sandoz. Sandoz is one of the largest manufacturers of generic medications in the United States.
    It is the generic arm of Novartis, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies.
    In 2005 Sandoz merged with Eon Labs, one of the leading US pharmaceutical companies.
    The capsules are still imprinted with the “E” from the Eon labs logo.
    When drugs are launched, they are released under a patent protection which
    restricts other pharmaceutical companies from manufacturing and selling the medication, until after the patent has expired.
    This is to protect the investment that the pharmaceutical company initially made in research and development before the drug
    was launched. Once the patent has expired other companies may apply to
    produce their own versions of the drug. Unbranded “copies” are known as generics.
    I had just moved to a new town, there was absolutely NOTHING to do.
    I would sit at home and eat tremendous amounts of food/cookies/junk while
    watching tv. Then one day I saw a commercial about health.
    I went to my doctor, and he said that I was a risk. At such a young age of 19, I was weighing in at 320+ pounds.
    This news got me more depressed each time I went in, which drove me to eat.
    One day out of the blue, I told myself I would not drink soda
    or any kind of fatty drink or high carbonated drink for 1 month!
    I suceeded to find out I lost 15 POUNDS! In ONE MONTH! Just from not
    drinking soda! Incredible, it drove me to start slowly and exercise.
    I eventually gave up ALL fast foods for that month, and what do you know?
    Another 20 Pounds OFF! JUST FROM EATING RIGHT! I was starting to
    get more and more impressed with myself. My whole family started seeing my weight loss in my face mostly, and
    my stomach (Boy, it was huge, look at the pictures!). I then realized that I should go to a nutrition centre and see what I can find to help
    cure or speed up my metabolism so that I could lose weight faster, or atleast supress my apetite, because my stomach was rumbling tremendously!
    Yes, most of the time I tried a lot of brand products, the ones that were
    usually advertised on television. Hydroxycut, trimspa, all those…with
    little success, the only success was with Hydroxycut, but it made my body feel weird.
    So I stopped taking that. I needed something for me that would not mess around with my health/heart.
    When I would get down on myself I tried starving myself,
    but then would binge eat which made everything worse.
    I took numerous over the counter, celebrity endorsed diet pills,
    nothing worked. I then heard of phentermine, and gave it a try.

    I decided if I was going to finally make a change I would
    do it right this time – so I ate healthy, began a
    30minute a day 5 days a week gym routine and the weight started to fly off.
    I stopped taking the pills for a while…. The weight loss
    slowed down a lot… I got back on the pills and I started losing quickly again. I started at
    303lbs and now weight 165lbs – and I’ve never been happier!
    Phentermine works by stimulating the hypothalamus gland and affecting certain neurotransmitters to
    decrease appetite. The hypothalamus is the region of the brain that controls the autonomic nervous system, regulating sleep cycles, body temperature, appetite, etc.
    Phentermine should NOT be used as a substitute for proper diet or exercise.

    For maximum effects, it must be used in conjunction with a reduced-calorie diet and/or exercise.
    Any modifications in your diet, activity level, and behavior must
    be developed and continued long-term in order to
    continue losing weight and prevent the lost weight from returning.

    • http://www.cucmesari.com their explanation

      I just want to say I’m all new to blogging and certainly liked you’re web blog. Almost certainly I’m want to bookmark your site . You absolutely have great posts. Thanks a bunch for sharing your web site.

  • http://www.sportskicksuk.co.uk dameq

    Pro low cost good hair days straighteners Keep produces several inexpensive ghd hair straightner. Try to get good hair days flat iron immediately by way of Quickly Service, Covered.

    • http://www.cucmesari.com Discover More

      I simply want to mention I am just new to weblog and truly loved you’re web blog. Probably I’m want to bookmark your website . You amazingly come with awesome stories. Bless you for sharing with us your web-site.

  • http://cevo.sk/clash/clash-of-clans-hack-updated-exe-1-15-mb/ http://cevo.sk/clash/clash-of-clans-hack-updated-exe-1-15-mb/

    Every weekend i used to go to see this website, as i want enjoyment,
    as this this site conations actually nice funny material too.

  • http://tinyurl.com/chestionare-auto chestionare auto

    8 tips for parents in the mission field. – Missions Manual Completeaza chestionare auto drpciv 2014 categoria B, C, E, A, D si treci
    examenul auto cu aceste teste drpciv online- chestionare auto
    Chestionare auto si teste explicate pentru categoria B.
    Chestionarele de la examenul auto oficial sunt actualizate si revizuite.

    Ia examenul auto din prima.

  • http://www.performpatch.com/nike-mercurial-superfly/ nike mercurial superfly

    nike mercurial superfly

  • http://www.cucmesari.com official site

    I just want to mention I am just newbie to weblog and definitely enjoyed your web page. Likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You absolutely come with great articles. Many thanks for revealing your web-site.