How My Family Gave Me a Heart for the Nations - Radical

How My Family Gave Me a Heart for the Nations

When I was three months old, my family moved to Central Asia to work with churches in a predominantly Muslim country. Despite growing up around very few Christians, my sister and I both came to know Christ as our Savior at a young age. God’s work of salvation in our hearts was accompanied by a desire, like that of our parents, to see all the world be “filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea” (Habakkuk 2:14). Here are three things I learned about God’s heart for the nations and his call on our lives through the example of my parents. 

Faithful missionaries are first faithful Christians.

The call of Christ on our lives is first to salvation and then to proclamation. As a child, I saw this in my parent’s faithful obedience to Christ in the monotony of their daily life. I can’t remember a morning that I didn’t wake up to see my mom seated in her favorite red chair, reading her Bible. During my daily walk to school, my dad never failed to pray over and with me and my sister. Morning walks were times to ask big questions or recite catechisms, and mornings in the living room were times to be quiet and to read my own Bible. 

The call of Christ on our lives is first to salvation and then to proclamation.

Those days probably looked different to my parents: a father praying desperately for our success in school despite a foreign language and Islam classes; a mother praying that we would grow to know and follow Jesus all the days of our lives. My parents’ love of God’s Word and vocal prayer lives showed us how Christ invites us to relate to him.

Missions require the Christian to hold the things of this world loosely.

By age eighteen, I had moved eleven times. We moved between numerous apartments in Central Asia, and during my teenage years, my dad’s job brought us to several years of temporary housing in the United States. Finally, in high school, we moved into a place of our own. Signing the contract on the first single-family house we ever lived in, I watched my mom thank God with tearful joy for the gift of that season. 

Though I never would have known it, she had dreamt all her life about building this kind of home for our family. Yet, it was desires like this that she surrendered at Jesus’ feet, knowing the goodness of God who had led her family elsewhere. I was raised with the understanding that no house is permanent, and no gift is ours to cling to, but we enjoy it with thanksgiving for a season.

There is a hundredfold promise to those who spend their lives for Christ.

My parents never stopped looking for opportunities to move back overseas. A year ago, my dad was asked to return to Central Asia to pastor a church. After discussions with sending church elders, zoom calls, and international trips, my parents accepted the position. To some family and friends, the decision did not make sense. Why leave jobs, a loving church, and two young adult daughters? My parents know to hold the things of this world loosely because better is yet to come.

“Then Peter said in reply, ‘See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne […] everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life.’” (Matthew 19:27-30)

Because our God reigns, we live as sojourners, building his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

When my parents left their life, family, and country for the first time, my soul’s salvation was included in the hundredfold given by God through their ministry. Today, I live out my faith by sending them out, for the joy of the hundredfold yet to come. Praise God for the good gift of family to love and grieve, for even family cannot be our home in this world. 

Because our God reigns, we live as sojourners, building his kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. One day, we will be together with God and see clearly, the hundredfold of every sacrifice that was made. Because of my parents’ example, I live on mission today for the promised future in which my family will sing—with every tongue, tribe, and nation—the praise of the glory that is due to our God.

Lydia Logsdon

Lydia is a nursing student at James Madison University and a member of Aletheia Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia. At Aletheia, she is a college ministry coordinator and serves on the worship team. Having grown up in a Central Asian country, Lydia is passionate about God’s heart for the nations. She recently spent the summer with Reaching & Teaching’s Summer Practicum, which allowed her to spend 6-weeks in a Middle Eastern country with a local church.


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