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{INSIDER} 16th of April 2019

Ahhh, how can it be that we have skipped a whole month of updates??? Time's running! You can see that in today's Insider too - why have our children grown so much?

We often get asked how our "missionary children" are involved in our work. This is an interesting question and the answer to that has developed quite a bit over the years. From a young age Naomi, Noah and Leon have definitely visited the communities and have no fear of contact with the people or the difficult circumstances that are so obvious there. We often and openly speak about the challenges that poverty, trauma, violence, gangs and drug addiction pose for people. Ever tried to explain what Crystal Meth does to the brain in a child-friendly way?

Even so, in the early years, especially as infants, it was really hard to involve the three of them. At Sibongile, it was often loud and crazy, which only made our kids louder and crazier - conversations and meetings became impossible. In 7de Laan it was even more challenging because either we could not keep up a conversation with someone without our eldest picking up sensitive information or the youngest putting questionable objects from the sandy ground into his mouth.

But in the last couple of years, we've noticed that it has become easier to engage the kids in concrete tasks, which really lets them get something tangible done - which is a good feeling for anyone and especially children. Whether packing stationery packages for schoolchildren, catching and weighing fish in the Aquaponics system, distributing food for Christmas, making pesto and labelling jars or scratching together their allowance money to help fire victims ... The three understand what it's about, can tackle it practically and can see a result at the end of the day. At the same time, they know it takes so much more than food packages to solve people's problems. To find the balance is often a topic we discuss around the dinner table.

It's not always idyllic as a family in missions, and the kids can whine and moan when they don't feel like going to 7de Laan. We would also like to pray more with the children for the people. However, all we can hope for and trust is that these little steps are the start of developing the lifelong habit of giving, serving and loving in our children.