What NOT to say to mission partner kids

What NOT to say to your mission partner’s children:

  1. ‘Welcome home’ – Growing up as ‘foreigners’, mission partner kids may not feel like the country they live in is home. However, many have never lived anywhere else so will not consider the UK home either. How about ‘It’s nice to see you again!’ Or, if they’re very small, they probably won’t remember visiting your church before so ‘It’s good to see you’ might be better.
  2. ‘How you’ve grown!’ – You may recognise and remember them, but your mission partners’ children probably won’t remember you. They’ve probably visited many different congregations of several hundred people. Why not start by introducing yourself?
  3. ‘How is [the country they live in]?’ – Be specific and ask about something that matters to kids. ‘What do you miss most?’ ‘Where’s your favourite place to go in your country?’ or ‘What is the funniest thing that has ever happened to you overseas?’ might be easier for them to answer. Let them tell you’re their stories of life as a missionary kid. Or ask them about themselves - what they like reading/doing, what school is like - the more specific the better.

What can you DO?

  1. Welcome them into Sunday School. It can be daunting leaving parents and siblings to join a group of unknown kids. Make sure the Sunday school teacher knows in advance they’re coming and have someone take them to the Sunday school room. It might be nice to introduce them to some other children beforehand.
  2. Send them a letter! Post overseas can be unreliable, so make the most of the dependable postal service. Kids love receiving post and it might be a nice introduction to your church, ahead of their visit to you.
  3. Mission partners and their kids don’t expect gifts but, if you want to, how about giving them something they can do whilst they’re in the UK? A family pass to an attraction in your city, tickets to a children’s concert, or something else they can’t do overseas. Remember that they’ll have limited space to take physical gifts back with them. You could lend them a book or DVD that you think they might like, to borrow whilst they’re in the UK.
  4. Don’t expect all mission partner children to be the same - they’ll each react differently to being in the UK. Even within siblings, children process experiences differently.

Want to know more about how you can serve your mission partner’s children? Find out how you can be praying for them.

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