Being on the Mission Field with a Kid (2 of 3)

Continued from… | 1 |

Touching is another problem. Strangers wanting to touch her hair, skin, or try to pick her up which makes her really upset. I know most people are sincere and amazed to see someone so different from what they are used to. I think even the occasional touching we would be able to put up with, but in China, nothing is done on a small-scale.

Not to long ago we were at the supermarket and paying for our groceries and we heard my daughter screaming and kicking because an older woman had cornered her and was trying to pick her up. Most of the touching is from adults and if we didn’t do anything about it, people would be constantly trying to touch her while we are out in public. So again, we decided to politely ask strangers not to touch her.

Another reason for this, which I thought was good, comes from a book that my wife was reading and the author made this comment:

“I don’t believe that we should expect our children to let people touch them when they are uncomfortable with it. One primary reason that I want them to be able to tell others to stop is because if there was ever a pedophile or someone else with inappropriate behavior or intentions, I don’t want my kids to think they can’t tell someone to stop. They need to have a full understanding that boundaries are not only okay, but they are a necessary part of our lives. ”[1]

Now, I am the first to say that this mindset, exaggerated, can lead to fearful living and crazy parenting. But none-the-less, the point is taken and a good point for consideration.

On the other hand, if our daughter knows you, she probably loves you. We walked to the market the other day and we went in and the meat woman held out her hands and my daughter ran over to her. She picked her up and took her behind the counter where she was working, asked her some questions and gave her a chicken foot to eat. My daughter just started eating like it wasn’t a problem. The difference is that we know this woman and have been to her house for a meal and my daughter has played there a couple of times.

Also, when we are at church, for the most part, when we walk in someone takes her and then when we leave we have to go find her, she usually is playing with someone or someone is holding her…meaning…she loves going to church and being around the people there.

When making these decision we tried to take in the full scope of things and make sure we were making the right decision. Is this a culture thing, do people touch and take pictures of all the kids like they do my daughter? Nope. It is definitely because we are foreign.

1. As I already stated, we don’t think that because we are missionaries we should have to build relationships at the price of our children or family in such situations. As the Father, I am the protector of my home and I am responsible for that.

  1. I truly want our daughter to grow up loving Chinese people. And she does! But I don’t want her to dread going to the store, being in public places, be constantly overwhelmed, have a bad attitude or dislike those we came to reach. I think if we allowed this to continue it would foster a bad attitude towards these people.

  2. We try to teach her to be kind and react properly (though she is only 2).

  3. Since we started asking people not to touch or take pictures, going out in public has been better.



p>Note: In the winter it’s not as bad because she has so many layers on people usually can’t see her!

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One thought on “Being on the Mission Field with a Kid (2 of 3)

  1. Shirley Beaveer

    It sounds to me like you are doing the right thing with Ava.
    As she grows, she will be able to identify who should and should not hold her. The Lord wants you to keep her safe.
    He loves the little ones and will watch after her.
    We have 14 grandchildren and the Lord has been with them all the way.
    Will keep praying for you all.
    God Bless You


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