Being the mom of a missionary is no small thing. You raise up your precious darlings, and then they move far, far away. Face-to-face time becomes limited; grandchildren get to know you via Skype.
We honor the sacrifices you’re making, moms of missionaries. Please know that your support, encouragement, prayers, flexibility, and creativity are great gifts to our missionaries (your kids!) on the field. Thank you for raising such amazing people! Here are some of the lessons you taught that they are using every day as they engage the lost:
“Whenever something didn’t go well, instead of getting upset or frustrated my mom would say, ‘Well, this is good missionary training!’ And then she would proceed to figure it out. This applied to every kind of situation … be it a spoiled dinner with guests sitting in the next room, or when we would get hopelessly lost in downtown Singapore—pre-GPS days! I guess she was grooming me all along for life overseas. So when Dave and I were standing at the airport with two of her little grandbabies, heading across the world, she was beaming from ear to ear because she had been praying and waiting (and training me!) for this day my entire life.”
— Martina in Russia
“Take your vitamins and put on the armor of God daily. We are in a battle!”
— A missionary serving among two unreached Muslim people groups
“My mom was in no way the sweet little Christian homemaker. She was bold, strong, and vivacious. Her mom was the first lady in her hometown to ever divorce. This was in the 1930s. There were people that wouldn’t let their children play with her because of this. Of course, this made an impact on her! She treated everyone she met with dignity, kindness, and respect. In her own way, she believed that everyone has a story, and encouraged people to share their stories with her. And she listened to their stories and always gave advice (whether asked for or not 😆). But everyone knew she cared, and at her funeral there was standing room only.”
— Joan Killingsworth, future missionary to Slovenia
“‘We go to church on Sunday morning,’ was my mom’s mentality. That has helped me to go to church on days that I did not want to go. (Yes, there have been those days!)”
— Jayne Russell in Ukraine
“My mom taught me to always be willing to try new things. My parents moved to the mission field for the first time when they were in their 50s. They continue to have a ‘let’s do it’ attitude, willing to travel all over the world to see family or to use their gifts and abilities to serve others.”
— Amy Walters, SEND US
“My mom taught me, ‘Sometimes you pay for convenience,’ and ‘Your time also has a price tag.’ I feel like this applies so much more now that I have children!”
— Maryah Woerner in Japan
“My mom was a great model of what it means to be faithful and industrious at home, at work, and in the church. She worked part-time as a nurse while raising three kids and maintaining our home and went back to college to get her bachelor’s degree while we were in middle school and high school. She served in and often led children’s ministries in our church while supporting my dad’s service as a deacon and elder. I am still amazed at how she was able to do so much! Things I learned from her that have helped me on the mission field include hospitality, frugality, and an interest in other places and people.”
— Beckie in Russia
“When I was a kid, I got pneumonia on December 25. Rather than moan and groan about how the day was ruined, my mom rescheduled Christmas. We had a TON of holiday traditions growing up, but they didn’t have to be tied to a particular day. Celebrating with loved ones was the ultimate priority. This came in particularly handy overseas when my children, who went to national school, had classes on December 25. Or when we wanted to celebrate a birthday with friends who would be out of the country on the actual birth date — no big deal, just move that party up a month!”
— Josie in Ukraine. Her mom, Jane Miller, is pictured at the top of this article.
“Never run out of toilet paper.”
— Beth Eckstein, Taiwan
What did your mom teach you? Leave a comment, and we wish you a sweet Mother’s Day!