What Do the Kids Think?

A great picture Evie drew at 1:00am as she was up thinking about us serving where the need is greater.

I wanted to post this to answer a question that many are asking (and probably others still are wondering).

We were very cautious and contemplative as we considered how we would tell the kids, and we did so in stages: initially it helped that they already had an awareness of others serving in other countries and that others have moved to server where the need is greater. Sometimes, as part of our family worship, we would consider the banner images on the JW.org website, guessing what country was in the picture, then reading the details of the population, the number of publishers and the publisher ratio. We would often ask questions like, 'what do you think it would be like to be out in service in a land like that?'

So, having the concept already in mind, we starting asking them questions like, 'what do you think it would be like for us to serve where the need is greater, in another country?' We received an array of answers, anything from, 'it would be so cool!' to 'I could never do that; I could never move.' We didn't expect that we would have completely positive feedback, not remotely, so we were prepared to field their responses positively. We just let them talk, express their concerns, and tell us why they felt the way they did – and we listened. Over the following weeks, we continued to talk to them about it, nearly daily, in one way or another. Watching a related video, reading or listening to one of the 'They Offered Themselves Willingly' articles in the study editions of The Watchtower, or answering questions the kids came up with, it seemed we had no shortage of fodder for conversation.

And then we viewed the August broadcast on tv.JW.org that centered on generosity and featured the story of the Williams family from England that moved to Cuenca, Ecuador to serve where the need is greater. After this we revealed to the kids that after talking and praying about this for a while, we had decided that our family was going to move to another country to serve where the need is greater. Again, we fielded a flurry of emotion: excitement, disbelief, opposition, etc., and again we expected this. Over the coming weeks, negative feelings turned into concerns and disbelief faded into curiosity. It has often been the subject of family worship, and we still almost daily talk about our future plans. We also read blogs of other families that have already made the move, and look at pictures of how happy they are. We've asked the kids to consider what they can do to simplify their lifestyle now, what they can live without, and as they think of things, Leiane boxes them up and sets them aside (for a huge future yard sale). Additionally, we have a started a savings canister that we initially seeded, but now the kids are frequently and happily contributing to.

Now, although negative feelings haven't completely subsided, they are definitely not at the forefront. The kids are, of their own volition, telling others of our plans to move, and it a very positive way! The other night our oldest daughter, Evie (13 this year), wakes me after 1:00am to show me the picture above; she said she had been up thinking about us moving to serve where the need is greater and drew this picture of us out in service in Ireland (one of the countries we are considering).

Well, that's it for now; I just wanted to let everyone know what the kids are thinking about our big move. Perhaps this can also help other families with children that are wanting to serve where the need is greater.

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