Thursday, March 18, 2010

Joshua~~~The Missionary Kid

My Josh~What a guy! I'm so proud of him! When we began planning to head to language school many missionaries gave us advice. I love getting advice from people that have walked where we've walked, have failed some, and has had some success, too. We can learn from others mistakes and gain a lot from words of wisdom. We received advice like:

~Going through language school will be one of the hardest things you ever do. Yup, that is true!

~Don't stay too busy with other stuff...your mind needs to stay focused on why you are there...for language school. Learning a new language takes all of your effort and mind. Yup, that is true!

~This will be a time when your family will draw closer to one another than ever before. Yup, that is true!

~You will go through some culture shock. Yup, true again. One thing that we weren't really warned about is how language school would effect our children. Let me just go ahead and say, though, Living your life for Christ is the most rewarding and fulfilling way to spend the time that God has given you. We love being missionaries and taking the next step to the mission field God has called us too. There are some obstacles and times of discouragement, but the Lord is so faithful and He's always the best comforter in the World! Living for Christ brings true joy and contentment! Never feel sorry for missionaries, we love doing what we do!

Children are resiliant. Okay, I have absolutely no idea how to spell that word! But, they do go through times where things can be difficult for them, too. Imagine this. You want to raise your children to serve the Lord. You want them to be fruitful christians. So, what do you do? Many things, of course, but one of them is that you faithfully bring your children to church to hear good preaching, right? Of course! If they're going to grow, they need to hear God's word.

Well, now imagine this. Imagine your children not hearing preaching for a year. No hymns and Godly songs for a year. No times at the altar because the Lord has spoken to your heart during the message. No "Just as I am, without one plea"

That's what it's like for my kids. Now, of course, we hear preaching and sing hymns, but when they are all in a language that you can't yet understand, or that you are only understanding 30%, it's just about the same as not hearing or singing. Your ear and your heart can't understand. Scary thought!
Out of all of our children, Joshua has experienced the most culture shock and has had the hardest time in language school. He loves it and loves new adventures, but he misses friends, misses home, misses family, misses our church....He wants to learn French so bad, but he gets really nervous to try to speak what he has learned. At times he feels he'll never really learn french. Last month we somehow "realized" (Praise the Lord for speaking to the hearts of Moms and Dads!) that our children were hurting in a spiritual way. Even though they're reading their Bibles, faithfully praying, and attending church, there was something missing. Since then, we're trying to be a little more aware of our children's spiritual needs. We sing more hymns together around the piano as a family. (The first time we pulled our our hymnbooks and did this Joshua said he was so glad because he was starting to forget some of the words!) We have more Bible studies together and we're memorizing verses together. Joshua has downloaded sermons onto his MP3 player and he listens to about one a day. (He was listening to one tonight while cleaning his birds cage!)

God is so good to show us areas in our life that we need helping our children in the spiritual aspect. God is also good to give us the desires of our heart. Josh is officially now a teenager and he's realizing things are a little different than he thought they would be. He always dreamed of going to camp. Well, he hasn't had that oppurtunity and we're really not sure when he ever will. When we head back to FL between school and going to the field it will be November/December...not exactly camp time. Well, God knew this and has given him the desires of his heart. Last month one of our supporting churches in Nova Scotia contacted us. Joshua loved being at this church and it was hard for him when it was time to leave. They told us they have a youth meeting coming up and they'd like to pay Josh's way to come. At first, I had the "Mommy" response. "No Way! He's my baby! How would he get there? Fly by himself? No way!!"

But, then, Patrick and I realized this is the oppurtunity Josh has been praying for and wanting. It's like going to camp, mini-style! After much praying, we decided we will let him go. This is a big step for me! He will fly out of Quebec, by himself :( on Friday morning, then return on Monday around noon. This will happen the end of April. Talk about making my Joshua excited! Wow! He can't wait. Thank you Lord, for being faithful to my baby and providing this oppurtunity for him!

Please, pray for missionary children. As my pastor puts it, A huge percentage of people surrendering to the mission field are missionary kids. Satan knows this and he attacks and tries to distract missionary kids. What a big distraction it could be for parents on the mission field if their children go astray. Pray for my sweet kiddos. Pray for the children of missionaries that your church supports.

One more thing, I want to put in a little "plug" for Joshua. He's been keeping a great blog He just added two new pages on the left side that give his testimony and our mission field. If you have a chance, swing by and check it out. It will be a blessing, I promise. Also, he loves comments! :o)


  1. I know exactly how he feels. I felt the same way in Mozambiqe (our first term). And then the second term I could pretty much understand everything, but it was still more like discipleship/baby Christian sermons. Stuff that you learn when you first get saved and such. It was sooo great to get back to the states and get some real meat. I'm praying for y'all

  2. Oh, boy... you really hit on a very needy topic. We got through our first few months on the mission field easily because we were living on the sheer ecstasy of finally getting here. Then, reality hit... loneliness, culture shock, and the biggie... no more spiritual food in church. You are wise to think of your children and turn to other resources while you wait and work for the language to come. I can happily report that 7 years later, God really SPEAKS to me in our services... and it is all in Russian! So, hang in there! It will come (and even faster for your kids...)!

  3. It's me again. I want you to know that I have never been touched like I was 3 1/2 years ago when I received a letter in the mail from your son saying, "My family is on deputation, but I personally want to support a missionary." And, in that envelope was a $20 bill, I believe. And, not only that, but he had a very organized plan, promising that he would support us for 4 more months, until we received $100 from him. (I could be wrong on the amounts here, but you get the picture). Sure enough, like clock-work, we received our little support envelopes from Josh until he fulfilled his promise. I saved his letters and spent his money with fear and trembling, begging God to bless this sweet boy's sacrifice to a another missionary family.

    I would love to tell this story on my blog, if you would allow me...

    Just know that you and your family have been a blessing to my heart for 3 1/2 years now, and I still do not know you! I'm so glad I recently found you out here in the "blogging" world. God bless you!

  4. This story was a real eye-opener. Thanks so much for sharing!

    I met your family several years ago at Park Meadows Baptist Church in Lincoln, IL. I was excited that I found your blog so I can keep updated on your family. I have your prayer card hanging up on the back of my bedroom door, so I can remember to pray for you!

  5. I can't say that our children have experienced exactly what your son has, because we are in an English-speaking country, very modern, etc. But one thing you said that I can relate to - sending him off alone for the first time. Our oldest, Sam, was 14 when his grandparents in Jamaica asked for him to come down for a visit. I had the same feelings you did - no way is my boy going that far without me. But my husband, like yours, helped me realize the time was right. So off he went at 14 to one of the most violent parts of a violent country for 10 days. And Mama made it through. And now that boy is on his way to the mission field himself at 21. We have to trust the Lord and not hang on so tight that we stifle them. Sounds like you're doing great - and your children too! Keep it up!

  6. this was a very enlightening post. I think your Joshua is one of the best young men around. He was such an encouragement and blessing to us when he personally sent us support a few years ago. I'm always impressed by him. Thanks for training him to be a young man that I'd want my daughters to find one day! We pray for your family, Maria

  7. Great post, Kam! So glad you guys are letting Josh go on his little getaway. I hope he comes back refreshed from receiving some good english preaching! Love you all!

  8. this is awesome, Kami. I am glad that Josh is learning that God gives us the desires of our heart. Living a "non-typical" life sometimes means you "give up" on some seemingly normal things, but it is amazing how the Lord provides for us to things that we want to do in such an amazing way.

  9. Here it is: A post dedicated to your very special young man:

    May God bless the Gimenez family... for not only BEING missionaries, but for LOVING missionaries as well!