LA JOLLA, CA – See the missionaries. They are the Stoddard family. They serve the Lord in Japan.
See Mrs. Stoddard. See Mrs. Stoddard smile. She is a happy mommy.
See Mr. Stoddard. See Mr. Stoddard look bewildered. He is a happy daddy, but he’s wondering how he and Mrs. Stoddard are going to take good care of their children and still get their missionary work done.
They need Mission Nannys!
All too often, missionaries’ kids (MKs) have been sent to Christian schools where they were separated by long distances from their mothers and fathers. Young children boarded at those schools, especially those in grades K-8, endure a hardship usually reserved for orphans. They may be lovingly cared for, but loneliness hounds them in the absence of their parents’ presence.
Separating children from their loving natural family is a hardship for any child, especially for those who long to be with their mom and dad and siblings.
The Nanny Alternative
In 1991, Betty Sullins established Mission Nannys, a faith-based organization that sends Christian people to countries across the globe to help missionary families care for their children. Several personal trips to mission fields had awakened her to the need for missionary families to have adequate “at-home time.”
Each Mission Nannys experience is different. Nanny candidates take on a variety of responsibilities that could include housekeeping, laundry, cooking, and educating the children. It all depends on the needs of the individual families.
Mission Nannys serve a minimum of three months. Many serve longer terms. Christian teens sometimes take a gap year to enable them to serve families on a mission field. The nannies are not just young women. Some are older women who have are willing to offer their time and a servant’s heart.
Nannies become the unsung heroes of many missionary families. Typically, Mission Nannys do not participate directly in the mission work. Their purpose is to free the missionary moms and dads from the daily tasks – which seem to multiply with each additional family member – of evangelism.
The Mission Nannys’ website is replete with testimonies of those who have served as nannies and families who have hosted them.
One young lady who had served a family in France said,
Experiencing a family so centered on Christ and so dedicated to living out their faith amongst opposition changed my heart. I was inspired by the children’s day-to-day experiences in France and how spiritually mature they are because of their lifestyle. I loved loving on this family: and they fiercely loved on me even more.
A family ministering in Mexico noted that,
Some time ago, we began to feel concerned about some unmet needs in our children’s education, especially for our youngest son, who struggles with significant learning disabilities. We prayed and considered leaving the ministry. A dear friend of ours encouraged us to pray that God would send the help we needed for our son. If God had called us to this work, He could provide for this special need, so we did pray and asked others to join us.
Were it not for a match arranged by Mission Nannys, this family might have left the mission field in which they had invested six years of their lives. Their story is not an isolated case. Another family wrote a note of thanks, reminding the staff of Mission Nannys that
Meeting the needs of the children is one of the biggest issues that can take missionaries off the field.
The continued growth and success of Mission Nannys is making a huge difference, unseen by most of us. Praise the Lord that he gave Betty Sullins the inspiration to birth this ministry.