Discovering the Heart of Missions in a 5-Year Old

This morning I was talking with Ella about our trip to visit my parents in Cambodia in the summer of 2014.  She told me she wanted to learn how to speak Cambodian before we went.  Completely logical request, though unique from a 5-year old.

Leaning to speak Khmer (the Cambodian language) wouldn’t be too hard since my parents are visiting this summer.   I told  her that we can ask them for words or phrases to learn during the week they are here.  She then asked me what would be some good phrases and words to know.

My response was the typical:

  • “hi”
  • “bye”
  • “thank you”

However, that didn’t really interest her.  Instead Ella asks:

“Daddy, I want to know how to say”

  • “Jesus loves you”
  • “Jesus love the little children”
  • “God will always be with you as long as you believe in Him”

“Daddy, I want to know other words that I can tell kids in Cambodia and other words that Kids Missionaries say”

Of course at this point, I am completely shocked by how our conversation has progressed.  My mind was on simple words to get us through the day.  Her mind was on words that would deeply change the hearts of the people she interacted.  I only cared about our daily well-being, while she cared about others’ eternal well-being.

I was planning this trip as a Father-Daughter Vacation, however it looks like Ella feels this is a Father-Daughter Missions Trip.  She loves her grandparents, but I think she’s more excited to go to a foreign country where there are going to be kids who do not know Jesus.

It’s amazing that God can often teach us lessons through our kids.  My daughter is a great reflection of someone who desires to express to others the life that is already in her.  That’s the heart of Missions right?  It’s not a duty or a job, it’s simply expressing the Good News that we have received to anyone we come in contact with.

So now this throws a curve in our budget.  When she gets older, maybe we save for Missions Trips instead of Disney Trips or Summer Camp.

My prayer is that my daughter’s innocent and sincere heart for others never leaves her.  And if I work at it, maybe I can get there too one day.



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