I shared yesterday that I'd just gotten back from a family mission trip to the Dominican Republic with my church. My husband and I took our 10 year old son and our almost 8 year old daughter (the 6 year old and 4 year old got to spend a week being spoiled at Nana & Papa's house). I love the concept of serving alongside my children but when they are younger than teenagers it can be challenging to find things they can do to serve people in need.
From my recent mission trip, here are some things I learned that kids can do to help others:
Light Construction work
My 10 year old using an electric saw, with close adult help, of course:
My 7 year old sanding the desks our group made:
Several of the kids from our church painting a wall in an open-air church in the Dominican:
Help put on VBS for local children
Our group of 38 split into 2 groups and did VBS at 2 different sites for 2 days. Each site had around 100 kids attend. The VBS was for kids in a very impoverished churches who would otherwise not have an opportunity to attend VBS.
Look at all those precious children! There was a hill out in front of the site I was at and Dominican children were literally carrying their younger siblings on their backs up the hill to get to VBS!
Our American kids were able to help act out Bible stories. And help with games and crafts:
We made animal visors and salvation bracelets
Entertain kids who are waiting to see the doctor during a medical clinic
We had a pediatrician in our group and a nurse, so we were able to provide 2 medical clinic days. The kids in our group were a huge help entertaining the kids who were waiting to see the doctor! And with 100 patients waiting to see 1 doctor, there was a lot of waiting! But, the Dominican children didn't seem to mind because they were soaking up all the attention they got as we colored with them and did puzzles and bubbles. I had one child in fits of laughter when I attempted to read her a Spanish children's book with my horrible mispronunciations!
Kids relate really well to other kids, so having kids in our group was actually an advantage many times. And kids serving kids is just such a beautiful thing, it's worth it to get creative to enable it to happen!