Monday, May 03, 2010

Missionaries and martyrs

We are scrambling to finish up our presentation on Missionaries and Martyrs for the Wisconsin CHEA homeschool conference. Friends have given us many suggestions for titles and have loaned us books, and so we are busy up to our ears! However, instead of that panicky feeling, we are getting excited about what we will get to share!

This session will present Christian biographies, especially those of missionaries and martyrs, as a great focus for parents who want to aim their children to "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness" and "love not their lives to the death". We want to give reasons why these books, over and above the recommended readings lists of librarians or Newberry award winners, should be considered the best materials for our children. Some of these reasons are:

  • Helping to avoid tunnel vision - there is more to living on this earth than what is experienced in the US.
  • Teaching about cultures, history and geography as merely a backdrop to what the LORD is doing. Today so many engage in travel and exploration (and even short term mission trips) mostly for the sake of self-satisfaction and seeking glory for themselves. The early missionaries went out into all the world with the realization that they would likely never see home or family again. Most did not.
  • These books provide examples of believers who "loved not the world nor the things in the world", many who made sacrifices considered stupid by Christians and non-Christians alike.
  • When you look at the lives of these men and women who so completely depended on the LORD, you see the Lord do amazing things, through miracles and through tragedies. As George Mueller said, "If the LORD fails me this time, it will be the first time."
The older children are picking out some favorites to share about, and we just found this gem, by Cecil Dye. Among the first missionaries of New Tribes Mission, Cecil Dye, with Dave Bacon, his brother Bob Dye, George Hosback and Eldon Hunter were martyred by the Ayore tribe in Bolivia in 1943.

"...perhaps more Christians at home
would become more aware of their responsibility to lost men
and less concerned over the material things of this life
if the expedition failed and we lost our lives."

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