Let the little children come…
Posted on: 24th March 2023
M and K are CMS missionaries serving with their two young boys in South Asia, where they often find their small flat full of various children who come to share food, fun and family time. They try to see it as a precious opportunity to witness to these children, in spite of the extra mess!
“Knock, knock, knock!”
It’s 10am. We don’t need to look through the peep-hole to know who’s there. Our five-year-old neighbour is returning from school, and always stops in at our house on his way upstairs. He joins in enthusiastically with whatever we are doing—eating morning tea, playing train tracks, drawing—insisting for a space on the fridge for his own drawings next to our son’s. He’ll stay for hours until we send him home or his mum comes to collect him.
“That family loves me!” he told his mum. Thank you God. Sometimes this boy drives us crazy, but yes, we do love him!
A safe place
Another neighbour told me: “Since your little boy has come back from Australia, my son doesn’t want to stay in the village. He wants to be back here at home so he can play at your house.”
We notice this son is quieter than usual, subdued. We think of his aunty who is dangerously sick from liver failure, of his mum who is also having chronic health problems, of his dad who works overseas, of his recent enrolment in the local Islamic school…. and we pray that we can be a safe place for him.
Learning to share
13-year-old Zeke* and his 3-year-old brother are also regular visitors. Both their parents work long hours and Zeke spends a lot of time caring for his little brother. They often come when the power goes out because that’s the time the little brother can’t watch TV anymore. He’s learning to share blocks with our children, they join in on our dinners and Zeke practises his English reading bedtime stories.
Sometimes I just want to shut myself in with my own family. I don’t want to share my dinner or my energy. Isn’t it challenging enough parenting my own kids and providing discipline and snacks and creative ideas?! Sometimes it’s hard for the boys to share their parents’ attention with others too. Most of the time, though, they really enjoy having other friends to play with and they enjoy going to their houses too.
Some of these kids see more of us and our ordinary at home lives than many of our neighbours. We pray that we would be faithful witnesses and, that the Spirit would bear fruit in our lives.
*Names have been changed for privacy reasons
Would you consider going overseas to serve cross-culturally in a location where Christian witness is scarce? Get in touch with your CMS branch to find out more about becoming a missionary.