Raising Globally-Minded Kids: Why Our Family Travels and How You Can, Too

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After this, I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, 'Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!'" - Revelation 7:9-10

Imagine how amazing this will sound: Every language and nation shouting glory to our God! Sometimes we get a glimpse of heaven when we worship and gather with people from other countries and cultures. It’s a vibrant reminder that the Church of Jesus Christ is bigger than our small corner of it.

So how do we help our children understand that God’s Church is worldwide, that people of all nations are equally valuable and of great purpose to Christ? How can we appreciate, learn from, care for, love, support, and pray for those culturally and geographically different from ourselves?

As a teenager, I was desperate to see the world but had little exposure and even less money. I cleaned houses, painted fences, mowed lawns, babysat, and sold Christmas trees to afford the mission trips that blended my desire for travel with my heart to serve. Now that my children are young adults, it’s a blessing, honor, and miracle to look back and see how the Lord provided opportunities to go, learn, serve, laugh, cry, and love.

My husband and I were good friends before we started dating, so we knew we shared similar values. We got married a few years later and spent the next seven years pinching pennies to explore the world together – from camping trips along coastal California to a backpacking adventure through Thailand. We took every opportunity to do something fun in a new place and can honestly say that there wasn’t one country or state we didn’t love. When our two sweet babies were born 19 months apart, I can’t ever recall a conversation about continuing our travel with the kids or purposefully raising children who would serve the world – but fully realize I’d appear much more holy and noble had this been our intention from the beginning.

The truth is, we simply hoped they would appreciate the world and its people as much as we did. We hoped experiencing the world would make them brave and humble enough to see beauty in every part of God’s creation. We hoped travel would give them perspective. We hoped they would grow, learn, and understand that EVERY people group and nation has something spectacular to offer. We hoped, first and foremost, that they would love.

So we got them passports, loaded up car seats and pack-n-plays (bungee cords came in handy), and carted them around with us to nap under palm trees and hear stories of culture and tradition from the locals. We ordered native food from the menu and ate what was served. The truth is, travel with kids isn’t easy and gets even more complicated when they become teenagers with opinions. But here’s what I know to be true: Each and every travel experience has permanently impacted our lives. Every story is a learning adventure and takes us one step closer to global awareness and appreciation.

Our children are now young adults with curious minds, compassionate hearts, and (mostly) willing hands. They are confident travelers with a love for Jesus and His people.

Want to dive deeper into raising your kids with a healthy global mindset? Get a FREE download full of my honest family travel stories, great tips, and other ideas to bring the world into your home.

About The Author: Lisa DaSilva is passionate about people, passionate about the world, and passionate about how the living, infallible Word of God can transform both. Lisa is on the Board of Directors for Forward Edge International, and one of her great joys is serving with them on global mission teams. Traveling with Forward Edge has convinced her that their unique holistic care of children through locally-led programs changes lives and communities. Lisa grew up in Canada and graduated from Trinity Western University with a BA in Psychology and English before attending graduate school and obtaining a Masters Degree in Education with a focus on social justice. After working in the public school system for eight years, she left full-time work to focus on her family but never ventured far from serving. Lisa has mentored numerous women in the faith, directed a ministry for mothers in her church, served on the school board, and led many Bible studies. As the Director of Arise Ministries Collective in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, Lisa believes every woman has a voice. She longs for the day when they find freedom to use it for the glory of God and the furthering of His Kingdom. Lisa lives with her husband of 25 years and two young-adult children in Vancouver, Washington.

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