why i’m taking my 6 & 7 year old to guatemala

In just a little over a month school will be out and my wife and I will be climbing onto a plane with our 6 and 7 year old daughters to take them on their first international mission trip to Guatemala! After spending time on mission trips together all over the world, Lisa and I are excited that we finally get to expose our children to something that has been such an important part of our lives, marriage, and ministry. We are thrilled about the opportunity to be working with some friends of ours (Lee & Angel Radford) who help run an orphanage in Guatemala and who have children at similar ages to ours. We’ve been waiting for this day, and below are 10 reasons why.

1. We are all missionaries

We hope for our girls to understand from an early age that Missions is something that is normal, not just something that super spiritual Christians do.

2. Poverty

We want our girls to be exposed to poverty early in life and understand what the plight of the majority of the World is…and then catch a vision to do something about it!

3. Intentional Exposure

By going on their first mission trip with mom & dad we can tailor design the trip to expose them to what is appropriate for their age, needs, and maturity level.

4. Creating Culture

Serving along side of mom & dad in an orphanage in Guatemala will help build the story and culture in our family that we long for.

5. Orphans

By serving in an orphanage my girls can participate in the international language of play and in so doing cross the language barrier. They can play with, love on, and serve the children of the orphanage.

6. Increased Faith & Dependence

We are raising our support to go on this project, and have included our children in this process. We want our girls to see their God meeting real needs like this through the body, His Church!

7. Others First

Fighting the selfishness that is inherent in us all can be tough, especially in kids. There is no better way to do that than to physically serve others.

8. Tangible Faith

We hope our girls grow up to have a tangible faith, a faith in Christ that prompts real action, not just intellectual adherence.

9. The Heart of their Heavenly Father

We want our girls hearts to break for what breaks the heart of their Heavenly Father, the Nations.

10. Family Vacation

What better way to spend a “family vacation” than on a mission trip! The girls will remember this moment the rest of their lives!


Interested in finding out more information about where we’re going? Check out our friends, Lee and Angel Radford’s blog who we’ll be working along side of in Guatemala!


I’d love to learn from you. What is your story of serving together as a family? What are some ideas we can use in the future? Leave a comment!

Posted in Family, Spiritual Formation

5 Responses to “why i’m taking my 6 & 7 year old to guatemala”

  1. paul alexander April 26, 2011 at 8:09 am #

    I think saying number 10 out loud is necessary. The average person gets a couple of weeks of vacation time a year from their job and it takes an intentional decision to take that time off and use it for a mission trip instead of a typical family vacation.

  2. Brian Stankich April 26, 2011 at 7:55 am #

    I was awesomely with you until number 10.

  3. Brian Stankich April 27, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    My concern with #10 isn’t that people would so highly value cross-cultural ministry that they would use their vacation/holiday to accomplish it, but rather, there is a stigma with raising funds associated with vacations. Granted, the family may view your trip as a type of vacation (beach vacation, stay-cation, etc.) but many people would not want to contribute to your vacation financially. A lot of people object to STM’s thinking they are of little value, other than to the goers, so mentioning a vacation element can feed the perception that I’m giving you $100 so you can see the world. All that to say – you may not encounter this attitude at all grin I’m thinking broader and more generally here.

  4. Ward Townsend April 27, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    What if there was a Church were #10 was the norm? not (lower case c) “church” as in “this congregation” or “that congregation”, but capital C “Church” – the “outside-the-walls-collective-of-Christ-followers”… the Bride of Christ … who would be SO in LOVE with Him that spending something of value to us FOR HIS PLEASURE would be our delight… HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS EVERY YEAR spreading out across the US and across the Globe sharing Gods Love, and impacting lives JUST BY BEING THERE… now THERE’S an image… : )

  5. paul alexander April 28, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Brian, I’d agree that STM’s are more about changing the world of the participant than the world of the people they’re going to see/minister to on the field. That’s why those STM projects MUST fit into the advancement of the strategy of a Missionary on the field. And on your second point, yea, I’d hate to think people are funding a vacation for my family or any family going on a project like this. Just referring to vacation time from work there.

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image