When Missionaries start small.

With five bright eyed girls sitting around their homeschool table, I crack open our book and skim to find the last page we read in our missionary story…



It’s a heart-breaking and wonderfully inspiring story of Amy Carmichael, a missionary to India in the early 1900s, who rescued hundreds of precious little girls from the clutches of the Hindu temples where they served as slaves and prostitutes (I have not introduced the topic of prostitutes, but simply use the word slave when reading to the children). The girls listen while coloring pages from the Amy Carmichael Torchilighter movie while I read …



As a child, I dreamed of being a missionary.


I specifically remember when I was about 10 years old, my school took a field trip to the Blind Mission in Toronto — seeing all those photos of the children, suffering, facing blindness, poverty and starvation, I just felt it was something I would be doing. I’d be a missionary. I just had to be one.

Shortly after Abby and I were married, we spent a few weeks in Africa with a short term missions team … it was amazing. Wonderful. Life changing. I’ve since been on another short term missions trip and it is something that just doesn’t leave your mind, your memory, your heart.

Fast forward 1o years and now I’m a full time mother … a housewife with five precious children gifted to me from the Lord on this earth and one in the womb …

and loads of laundry that need tending, homeschooling that needs planning and a family that needs caring for … but yet, in some ways, can I see this still as missionary work? … it’s not glamorous. It’s not fancy. It’s often, dare I say it, mundane. In fact, it can be downright humbling. Putting others needs before mine, unclogging toilets, changing diapers, helping little minds memorize Scripture and introduce them to Christ … all a privilege and an act of servanthood.

…but I see it – as we open our book to read the life story of one woman who gave up everything to take on hundreds of little children who ‘tie the feet’ and keep her from doing the ‘real missionary work’ she intended -I see these little girls of mine soaking up the heroic, godly, sacrificing story of this one incredible missionary …


We place the ‘Amy’ figure on the map to show where she was a missionary all those years ago …



Not far away on our ratty, old world map is the photo of the Nuefelds in Mozambique, Africa …


And then,  school time is over and the chapter has concluded … the girls run upstairs to their shared bedroom, prop open their loom case and begin making more bracelets. It’s all about missions … the reason the girls are working on the Looms for Love project …

And I see tiny seeds … seeds of God-seeking and kindness in their heart … and it clears my vision … I am reminded where my mission is … right here, right now, with these children.

Little girls, wearing cross necklaces, looming up bracelets for orphans … the cross necklaces made a day earlier with two other new friends who spent the afternoon at our house creating more bracelets for Looms for Love – all  for the precious African children who will be receiving these bracelets in July.

I see their young eyes light up when I tell them they have been invited to participate in a church event in a city two hours away … invited to tell other children about how they can help, show them how to make the bracelets for the orphans in Mozambiqe and raise awareness and funds for the missionaries, Rick & Heather  who are doing the daily, life-changing, faith-stretching, back-breaking labour of overseas missions.

And I am blessed to see something as simple as reading a missionary story every day to many little ears could help create a tiny project that will encourage and send love to children who need it all the way into Africa …


Do you want to introduce missionary stories to your children? Here are some of our favorite.

Heroes Then and Now

Missionary Stories with the Millers

and these movies are fantastic for your children:

Torchlighters – Heroes of the Faith

 Using the notebooking pages from the Torchlighter website has been a wonderful resource, as well.

Linked up with:



March 31, 2014 - 1:01 pm

Heather Beautiful thoughts. Our favourite is Gladys Aylward.

March 30, 2014 - 7:25 pm

Chris McCoy Oh Gillian, what a lovely post! Its so wonderful to see your beautiful girls growing in their Christian walk! The tiny hands holding the beaded cross…Girl you are a treasure of God! Thanks for keeping us in your lives this way. What a blessing!

March 27, 2014 - 10:03 am

Erin Lynn My girls don’t really have a Rainbow loom or we definitely would have been involved, too!! A focus on missions is such a wonderful gift to impart to your little ones. My girls best friend is a missionary (with her family) to Africa, and my husband’s best friend serves in India. Both of these families spur us on as a family to reach outside ourselves to serve the Lord by supporting them. I know what you mean about serving where you are even though we are not missionaries overseas. You know, the Lord is really opening my eyes to teach my girls to serve those around us, family but also neighbors, church friends, etc.

March 26, 2014 - 11:11 pm

Kristina I love seeing how excited my children get with missionary stories. My eldest feels a real connection with Hudson Taylor, since his middle name is Hudson. And imagine our surprise when he brought a book about Eric Liddell with him to church one Sunday, and our pastor’s mother told him that she was in a prisoner-of-war camp with Eric Liddell when she was a child in WWII! Growing up Catholic, I really missed out on all these missionary stories. Catholic children are given “Lives of the Saints” books instead. Some of them real people, some of them mythical. But the stories about missionaries are so much easier for children to connect to, because they are so rooted in real-world geography, and some of them are current or not-so-long ago.

March 26, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Rebekah Very beautiful and inspiring, Gillian. Your sweet girls, learning and loving, like their mother.
My daughter had a wonderful time creating with your five. How exciting that you are taking the message for more children to be involved.
I am glad to have met you and that we live so close!