My husband and I have been stirring about the possibility of missions as a career option. My husband is 30 and I'm 28 and we have a small child (19 months).
My question is should we wait until our family has grown, (we'd like to have more children), or go now while we're young and excited about it. We were wondering if it is common for folks to have babies in the field and if there are missions organizations that are more family-friendly than others.
Any insight you may have would be much appreciated!
Thanks for your question. You are in a wonderful time of your life, and it is apparent you are really looking for God's guidance.
There is such a broad spectrum of Missionary Kids, that it is hard to make generalizations. Like with any family, much depends on your job as parents as well as the specific place you end up ministering. There are many benefits to going now:
1. Your family is young and adaptable.
2. It's easier for all of you to learn a foreign language.
3. As you seem to anticipate, the more comfortable you get and the more your family patterns get set, the harder it is to make a major move.
4.Having babies is a world-wide experience! In most countries, there are adequate facilities unless there are complications. I was born in Pyong Yang, Korea, in 1934! Some missionaries have preferred to temporarily move to a situation that provides more advanced medical care when their children are about to be born. This was my mother's experience.
You need to examine the various missions agencies, and balance them against your values. Come to Urbana to meet them all! Some consider the parents' missionary work to be the priority - so they have the parents send the kids to a boarding school when they turn six. Others let the parents decide. Some common choices include home school, or the local school. My assistant, Paul, grew up overseas, and went to the neighborhood school. He said he doesn't know how to answer the question "how was going to school overseas?" He said it's just growing up. Some things are fun, and some aren't. To get an idea of Missionary Kids lives, check the Homepage of Mu Kappa, a Missionary Kids' Group.
May God bless you as you seek his guidance for your family and your future!