Monday, September 1, 2008

Mission and families

Recently at Moore College Mark Driscoll made a passing comment that it would be better to be single on the mission field in a closed country. I'm not sure if I agree with him, and I think his comments may have been unhelpful.

When I was in the Middle East on a short term trip 3 American missio’s were shot in the head because someone wanted to ‘cleanse’ his religion. There were many there with families, but they had a motto; “When you’re saved, anywhere is safe”. I gather it’s point was that God is powerful enough to keep you safe no matter what country you are in, so if the gospel calls you there, go! Mark’s comments may seem logical but might be a slap in the face to many of the faithful families who have taken their families to dangerous countries because of their trust in the sovereignty of God. Many in history have buried their children, but I don’t know if I’d say to them it would have been ‘better’ to be single.

Having said that, I was reflecting today how much I value what Mark Driscoll said at Moore, and agreed with almost everything he said. I also heard him speak about Fatherhood and husbandry (is that a word??) last night, and it was gold. Absolute gold.


Mike Greenberg said...

Geoff, thanks for this post. It is encouraging as I am taking my 11 year old son on his first mission trip. It's a comforting post. We are going to Uganda in about 30 days. Pretty excited and nervous, but overall should be great. Take care, keep up the good writings.

geoffc said...

Thanks Mike, I'm glad it was comforting for you.
I love the way you say 'first' mission trip, implying that your son will have many more to come.

It reminds me of the words of Spurgeon to his Son, encouraging him to be a missionary.

"What are all your kinds, noble, diadems, when you put them all together, compared with the dignity of winning souls for Christ. Not building on another man's foundation, but preaching Christ in regions far beyond" (off the top of my head with lots of errors)

Glad to hear of parents dreaming big for their children! God bless you :-)

psychodougie said...

husbandry is about breeding. does the term 'animal husbandry' ring any bells?

i guess one issue of being married, like we've chatted about, is that your wife might not be allowed outside, your children will grow up without a culture (3rd culture or whatever it's called). maybe in this technological age they wouldn't be so cut-off, but i don't know whether that would ever be the case.

geoffc said...

To say your kids and wife (who you would only take if they were wholeheartedly commited themselves) would miss out on some things would be an understatement. It is a sacrifice, and it is a recognition that they are God's children, not my own, and he is a good and faithful God who will take care of our kids.

however, you could point the finger in the other direction. how could you possibly raise your kids in such a rampantly materialistic and sexually immoral culture? Also, what kids gain on the field is great as well, and ought not to be understated or undervalued.

there are things to consider definately, and it's not an easy decision. But those who do choose to take their kids to cross-cultural situatios through faith, I take my hat off to them.