"Mom, Where Is Peru?"

I love conversations with my eight-year-old son, Landon, but I especially enjoy conversations about our faith and sharing our faith with others. He recently claimed Christ as his Savior, so these conversations are increasing.

“Why do some people choose not to accept Jesus?” has been his hardest question for me to answer so far. If we are honest, it’s a tough one for any Christian to comprehend, much less an eight-year-old. One of my favorite questions has to be when he asked why missionaries would leave their families to go around the world to tell others about Jesus.

To help both of our sons understand what we can do to share our faith with others, we are active in missions discipleship as a family. Tommy leads RA, I lead GA, and both boys are active in missions. We’ve been on family missions trips and participated in local Children’s Missions Day projects. We see great value in making sure our children understand the Great Commission and that we are all responsible for living out our faith in front of others.

 “So you must go and make disciples of all nations. Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And you can be sure that I am always with you, to the very end” (Matthew 28:19–20 NIrV).

Over the course of the last few years, our boys have met several missionaries—some working across North America with the North American Mission Board and some working internationally through the International Mission Board. One of our most memorable conversations happened to be with a missionary from Peru. Amy Fisher has been featured in our children’s curriculum, so when she was in Birmingham for a training event, we invited her to join us for supper one night. Amy gave the boys samples of Peruvian candy made from corn. She shared stories about her experiences with different foods she has eaten in an effort to be a good friend to Peruvian people as she shared God with them.

Both boys were intrigued to learn that their new friend, Miss Amy, has eaten all kinds of things that aren’t part of their diet—guinea pig and armadillo to name a few. So, when I brought home Missions in a Box: Peru, Landon was very excited to learn more about where his friend Miss Amy lives and works.

“Mom, where is Peru? Isn’t that where Miss Amy lives?”

We looked at a world map on my phone and found Peru. And we dove into our box. Landon is like other kids and is immediately drawn to anything he can manipulate with his hands. He likes to make things, so he immediately grabbed the craft materials and wanted to make the craft first. I read, and we learned about Peru as he figured out how to make the craft. We discussed what it must feel like to live in a place where people eat things you might think are different or gross. He remembered what Miss Amy shared with him about eating guinea pig and boiled armadillo. And he remembered that Miss Amy didn’t think it was gross like his momma does.

As we read some more, he used markers to decorate the craft. He listened and asked questions about the people of Peru and why missionaries would want to leave their homes and families to travel to another country.

By the end of our discussion, we had decided that there are people who don’t know God in our community, too. And that we can do things like missionaries in Peru do—be a friend, share what we have with others, help others—to show the people in our community that God loves them.

Yes, we enjoyed learning about and experiencing Peru. But what Landon and I walked away with was that for our family, sharing God with people can start right here in our own community. We can answer the Great Commission right here as we pray for and learn about missionaries answering it in Peru and around the world.

 

Heather Keller is the GA and CA consultant at national WMU. While she enjoys leading GA each week in her own church, she loves being a “boy mom."

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