We asked the children of our mission partners a bit about their lives! Much is similar to the life of a child in Britain or Ireland, but lots is unique to them. As they grow up in a nation different to their passport country, their experiences are shaped by two cultures. And life this year has had its own particular flavour as coronavirus has affected each country similarly but differently.
From Belgium, Max (5) and Julia (3) share:
Max: We’re in Belgium to teach people about Jesus. At school I go on forest walks and I make bread. Bread in French is ‘pain’. The children at school speak French. Speaking to other children in French is hard. But when we’re scared we remember that Jesus is with us.
Julia: We live in Belgium so we can tell people about Jesus and trust in Jesus. At the moment we can’t go to school or museums because of the virus. We can’t play with our friends. When the virus is not over we have to do church on Zoom.
Max: I don’t feel so happy that we have to do church on Zoom again. But I’m glad that we can still see people on Zoom.
In Moldova, Iona (7) and Josh (4) say:
Iona: Last year I went to school but now I do homeschooling with my mum and brother. We have our lessons in the kitchen and sometimes outside. We learn maths, English and a subject like 'astounding animals' or a country like Italy or Australia.
Josh: I love to do Maths!
Iona: I like it when we learn a big topic.
Josh: I play cricket in the garden.
Iona: I dance around the house and sing loudly.
Josh: Every morning before homeschool we do family bible time. We read our bible, pray to Jesus and do some songs.
Iona: We are in Moldova because we are missionaries. We teach people about Jesus.
Josh: We tell people who don't know about Jesus.
Josh: Lockdown is hard because we can’t see anyone. We can't see our friends and family.
Iona: It has been a bit fun because I can spend some more time at home with my family. We have to talk to friends and family on Zoom. I miss people that I love. Daddy goes to church to preach but we can't go to church at the moment because children aren't allowed. We do family bible time and church at home instead. Mummy tells people about Jesus online on Zoom. We like to come and say ‘hi’ and ‘la revedere’.
Josh: ‘La reverdere’ means ‘goodbye’.
Iona: We can't see other people as much or go out as much. When we go outside, children don't have to wear masks but grown-ups do.
Josh: I'm excited when people come over but we have to stay two metres away outside. We can't give them hugs.
From South Africa, David (9), Matthew (7) and Samuel (5) write:
Samuel: We are in South Africa because Daddy goes to a place called JBC to teach people about Jesus.
Matthew: We like to call it JCB because it reminds us about diggers!
David: JCB is a bible college in Soweto. Soweto is a township, which means it is a poor area, and it is close to Johannesburg. Some people live in a house with one room and daily struggle to find food. There are many churches in Soweto, but few teach about Jesus. People in South Africa, including Soweto, still need to know about Christ.
David: Daily life for me is extraordinarily fun! We are homeschooled and my favourite subject is history, which is done on the computer.
Matthew: Bible lessons are my favourite.
Samuel: My favourite subjects are maths and science.
David: In the afternoon we run, swim or do gymnastics. When lockdown started it was especially hard but it has become easier. Running was awful because we had to do it in the house but now we can jog outside.
Matthew: I loved doing PE with Joe!
David: In lockdown we were not allowed much time out of the house but now we can go shopping together. We have done more gardening because at the supermarket they were giving away seeds if you spent money there. We’re growing lots, including beetroot, pak choi and broccoli.
Samuel: The hard thing about lockdown has been not being able to go to England.
In Italy, Shona (12) and Pietro (10) tell us:
Shona: Going to school these days is a lot more complicated: we always have to wear a mask, even outside, wherever we are. At school we always have to wear a mask and we have to sanitise our hands every hour. We have to stay distanced and we can’t go outside of Bologna. The gyms are closed so now I’m not doing any sport. The libraries and cinemas are closed too.
Pietro: During COVID things have changed a bit. For example, gyms have been closed and stuff like that. I don’t like that we still have to go to school though – it’s boring! At school we have to work and wear masks all day. We can’t go in the school garden.
During the pandemic, Crosslinks has held regular Zoom events for mission partner children. Whether they’re showing the other children their favourite pet, reviewing a recent book or hosting a quiz, these sessions give children the chance to have fun with others who are also in lockdown a long way away from their passport country. Find out more about what it’s like to be a mission partner child here.
Pictured at the top of the page: David, Matthew and Samuel Miller and Haydn and Daniel Symons at the Crosslinks kids orientation conference.
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