Sep 9, 2021 | 3 min read | Dave Patty
What keeps a missionary fruitful and faithful for the long haul?
Obviously, a deep walk with God and personal integrity are at the top of the list. But second in line is a resource that might surprise you: strong families.
Sometimes the children of missionaries are expected to be healthy and strong just because of their parents’ occupation. But we all know that nothing grows without care. The pressures of front-line ministry can produce resilient, godly children—or just the opposite! So much depends on the support and spiritual care they receive during their growing up years.
That is why I am so excited about an event that just occurred during the month of August. Almost 50 JV kids gathered together for our annual “Josiah Venture kids camp” at our lakeside facility in southern Poland.
After over a year of lockdown, and a canceled event last summer, the kids were giddy with excitement at the prospect of being together again. The JV community is one of the few places they feel totally at home. Here, they link arms with others who understand the adventure of living in a “third culture”—with one foot in their culture of origin and another in the culture of the nation where their family serves.
Knowing these young missionaries needed special resources for these uncertain times, the JV kid’s camp team focused the entire week on the person and character of Christ. They chose the word “Behold” as the theme, taking a different aspect of Jesus to fix their eyes on each day. On top of that, every JV Kid memorized half of the second chapter of Philippians in order to “hide in their heart” resources for the months ahead.
Over 20 JV staff give up a week of their summer to deeply invest in the JV kids, serving as their counselors not just at camp, but throughout the entire year. They shepherd the same group all the way to graduation, when the seniors are “sent” off from the community to their respective colleges and universities.
As a second generation missionary and “third culture kid” myself, I feel a unique connection to this group of children. A special young lady named Claire Patty leads this ministry, who, as you might guess, was once a JV kid herself.
Thanks for all you do to keep our missionary families strong and healthy through your gifts and prayers.
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