The mission to unreached people groups must start by planting seeds in the minds and hearts of children. Most American missionaries heard God’s call to the mission field before reaching teen years. If the seeds are not planted early, how will the next generation fulfill the call to take the gospel to unreached people groups?
“The idea of launching a contest to select a child to feature in a global mission trip seemed wild to some people,” says journalist Carey Kinsolving. “Eventually some of the world’s largest non-denominational mission organizations saw the wisdom in it.”
Kinsolving, Mission Explorers producer, said it took about two years of persistent effort to organize the contest, plan the trip and edit the video. More than 100 hours of video were shot on four continents and two islands to produce a little more than two hours of this adventure in missions.
“The power of this series lies in the perspective of seeing the mission to unreached people groups through the eyes of a child,” says Kinsolving. “Kids really get into it because they experience mission work through the eyes of an 11-year-old girl. Peer influence can transform a child from a polite listener to an active participant.”
Some educators realize the importance of peer role models. One website entitled Amazing Kids had this to say: “Studies have shown that one of the most effective ways children learn is through the use of cross-age peer tutoring; that is, an older child given the task of teaching a younger child. Why?
“When students learn from someone who is ‘just like them,’ they are more engaged in their learning. Peer tutoring highlights a ‘common bond’ between tutor and pupil; consequently, children are often more open and receptive to learning.”
Parents and teachers can take their children on this adventure in missions without ever leaving home or the classroom. Experience the wilds of Congo, meet the Islanders of Fiji and ride an elephant in India. The Mission Explorers Streaming Video takes children on an adventure in missions.
Kinsolving says his journalism training through University of Missouri School of Journalism helped him in story selection and the pacing of the video. “I know the 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Bore!” says Kinsolving. “There’s a good balance between inspirational mission stories, culture and custom stories and funny things that happen along the way.”
In the beginning sequence, Hillary Welborn, the 11-year-old girl featured in the series, serves as the co-pilot of a Mission Aviation Fellowship flight into the wilds of Africa. Kinsolving didn’t know Hillary had been saving her money to fly on an airplane when he announced she had won the global mission trip. Hillary’s mother, Holly, had spent much of her childhood in Africa as the daughter of missionaries. She dreamed of taking her children to Africa.
“I don’t know who was more excited about making the trip, Hillary or her mom,” says Kinsolving. “All I know is that they both screamed and jumped a lot when I showed up at their house with a cameraman to announce Hillary had won the trip. It’s like Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes times 10.”
A minute or so of the surprise visit to the Welborns’ house begins each of the four Mission Explorers Streaming Video Series segments (Africa, India, Philippines/Fiji Islands & Bolivia). The featured mission organizations include Ambassadors for Christ International, AWANA Clubs International, Every Child Ministries, Far East Broadcasting Company, Food for the Hungry, Operation Mobilization, Pioneers, SIM International, TEAM, Torchbearers and Trans World Radio.
To begin your children’s mission to unreached people groups, click here to view the Mission Explorers Video Series.