Missionary Biographies - Handling delicate topics

kellybell
Posts: 475
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 2:40 pm

Missionary Biographies - Handling delicate topics

Unread post by kellybell » Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:11 pm

Amy Carmichael
mom2boys wrote:We are starting our study of India tomorrow. So how did you wise ladies who have gone before me handle the subject of temple prostitutes in the Amy Carmichael biography? I have two boys, 10 & 7, who I have no doubt will ask what this means.
Anxiously awaiting your replies,
~Charlotte
[See the end of the story below, 9/4/06]
Oh, the Bible (and missionary stories) often hit on R-rated subjects. My best advise is to talk to your dh and see what guidelines he has. Each family has their own way to handle it, from skipping over it to barring no details, but I am guessing that most of us are in between those extremes.

Our dc's range in age from 5 to 12, so they have varying degrees of understanding of "adult" subjects.

I guess I would suggest that before you read about temple prostitutes that you explain that God has rules for marriage: "Marriage is special and you aren't to act like you are married to someone you are not married to. Sometimes a man, single or not, wants to act married to someone he is not married to. He sometimes will pay a lady to act like his wife for just a bit of time, and that lady is called a prostitute. She acts like she's married to a lot of different men who all pay her to act this way. Of course, this is wrong because if violates the 10 Commandments." You could then say that the next chapter in the book will talk about temple prostitutes. You may say that being a prostitute must be a really sad life. You may say that God's rules aren't to be mean or restrictive but to keep us from sadness and problems.

Again, talk to your dh, as he needs to be the one to decide how to handle it. This is just how we handle it.
Kelly, wife to Jim since 1988, mom to Jamie (a girl, 1994), Mary (1996), Brian (1998) and Stephanie (2001).

cbollin

Re: Amy Carmichael

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Aug 21, 2006 6:49 am

I really like Kelly's ideas. thanks.


when we did first did ECC, my oldest was only in 2nd grade (adventures wasn't around). As I read ahead a tiny bit in the book, I just explained that the children were being hurt and it made God sad. So, Amy wanted to rescue the children and tell them about Jesus. She didn't ask for details at the time, so I didn't have to deal with it. I may have substituted the word prostitute, but I don't really remember.

The next time we go through that book she'll be in 7th grade and the next child will be in 4th. Guess I'll print out Kelly's answer and use it as a book mark in that book. (Does that mean I have to go the basement, again? hee hee....)

--crystal

Fly2Peace
Posts: 79
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2006 7:36 pm

Re: Amy Carmichael

Unread post by Fly2Peace » Mon Aug 21, 2006 7:21 am

DD 8, has asked about prostitute and virgin from Bible readings and things we have done...

So, first being prepared ahead of time will be VERY helpful, because it is not good to get the deer in the headlight look at such times. :)

In addition to the wonderful suggestions already offered, I would suggest checking your child's Bible for a dictionary. They often offer very gentle definitions for such terms.

When we discussed it here, we went at it from the direction that when we belong to God, our bodies are temples for the Holy Spirit, and that we are to protect our temples from anything God would not want us to be involved in. We discussed that prostitutes are selling their bodies, and that God doesn't want us to do that, because it does not honor the Holy Spirit. I know she didn't fully understand, but it satisfied her for now, and we will deal with in more indepth when she is older.
Fly2Peace (versus flying to pieces)

Jill S
Posts: 14
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Re: Amy Carmichael

Unread post by Jill S » Mon Aug 21, 2006 8:34 am

I focused on the fact that those girls had been sold by their poor families to live/work in the temple, rather than what exactly they were doing for work. I wasn't trying to avoid a discussion on prostitues, per se, but was more focused on the fact that they were little girls who needed someone besides a bunch of non-Christian priests to care for them. Of course, my boys were only 8 or 9 when we read it, and didn't have a clue that something worse was going on.
Mom to Alex, 12, Russia--RtR
Luke, 12--RtR
Song, 9, China--RtR
Vera, 8, Russia, Down Syndrome
Anna, 7--MFW1
Emma, 6, Down Syndrome
Ella, 3, Colombia, Down Syndrome

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Amy Carmichael

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:32 am

My son turned 10 last November. He responded much like Jill's boys when we read such things in the Bible, Amy's book, etc. I did not delete anything unless it was used a lot of times in a row. But my son didn't ask for more explanation than Jill mentioned.

However, near the end of last year (age 10-1/2) he hinted about some "lack of understanding," & I went ahead & got out the gentle "facts of life" book used in Rome to the Reformation. It's a book that has 2 levels of text. My son never asked for more than the simplest level last year. This year we'll be reading it all & I will be the deer in headlights :o)

doubleportion wrote:Personally I am glad that we did not skip any of these. I think our dd benefited greatly from them. It has given her a greater understanding of persecution of Christians through out the world; and a recognition that we must all be sold out to the Lord that much, that we are willing to choose death before denying Him. For to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. I will say that she has matured allot since 2nd grade and 3rd grade was the perfect age for her to do ECC.
Posted Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:36 pm by Julie in MN
I agree with you, Edie. I read these to my son in 3rd grade and they had lasting effects even up until now in 8th grade. And now in ECC as an 8th grader, he's spending his time on the advanced biographies in the 7-8th grade package, so I'm glad we took the time to read the YWAM* ones in the past. (We actually read all of the ECC set plus several extras in 3rd grade.)

I was especially happy to be able to discuss any sensitive topics together "with" my son. I knew by 3rd grade, he would be exposed to these topics in many places, including the Bible and church sermons and even littler kids. We were able to have good little conversations based on missionary lives, before I had to answer questions about TV shows or adult conversations that had been overheard in a doctor's office. And there is some sense in what a dentist once told me: Nothing he could do to a child (even giving my 3yo four root canals) is worse than the child's own fears. Our kids may be trying to make sense out of much more in the world than we realize -- and if not, then the worrisome topics may be going right over their heads. In some ways, the missionaries prepared the way for future understanding in CTG and RTR, up through the facts-o-life study and the early martyrs and such. I was so grateful to homeschool him and be the one to help him face the difficult realities of life in this very small way (there really aren't more than a handful of issues, IMHO).

I will add that in 3rd he absolutely didn't understand things in an adult way. I copied one of his missionary summaries here, and you will see that he wasn't too worried about anything we had read: http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php ... 042#p47794 And we read pretty much everything as-is (unless it was repetitive). Often he didn't ask questions when I expected them, or a question really didn't need much more of an answer than, "They were acting like they were married and they weren't," or, "People have always been tempted to be mean and sinful, haven't they?"

So that's just a perspective for a family that might be looking forward to reading these books to a 3rd grader -- my experience is that it was wonderful. They meant a LOT more to my ds than the short, rhyming versions we tried from YWAM. But my son does have adult siblings, so each family will be different.

Julie

P.S. Curiosity caused me to search my computer. Here's what my 3rd grader "heard" about Amy (3rd grade errors and all):
  • (introduction)
    Amy grew up as a helpful person. She worked in India and Japan when she was grown up. Let’s start the story

    AMY CARMICHAEL

    It starts out when she was 15. She and her friends wanted to see the comet. So she led her friends upstairs. They got upstairs and saw furniture shapes. Then they [the shapes] turned to faces! The light flipped on and it was their teachers. They looked at only 1. Amy was the only one that would do it so she got the most punishment. They saw the comet but not the way she wanted to…

    As I told you, Amy is a kind person. One day, Amy was at church, she helped a slooooow, slow, person. But as she was walking by a fountain she heard voice say something from 1st Corinthians. She goes to a boarding school then when she gets home she helps “Shawlies”. Then later on she went to England to help the Shawlies.

    Then later she gets ready to go to China to be a missionary but…… the doctor said she was too sick so know where she went? She went to Japan. But when she got there she got sick again! She got lost for hours till Japanese men carried her to a missionary she was going to meet. Then she fixed up the Japan missionary station and taught about 12 people to be Christians. Then she went to India.

    She really spent the rest of her life running an orphanage/her adopted children. They called her “The Child Stealing Amma’ cause she rescued many girls from temples and mean families.

* [YWAM = Youth With A Mission, publisher of ECC Deluxe biographies]
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

mom2boys
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 7:57 pm

Re: Amy Carmichael

Unread post by mom2boys » Mon Sep 04, 2006 12:09 pm

mom2boys wrote:Thanks for the helpful replies. I will print them off and discuss them with my husband. We are doing this book as a evening read aloud and when I jokingly told my husband I was going to leave it up to him to explain what a temple prostitute was, he did get that "deer in the headlights look." That's why I came to the board for some support! He will appreciate your replies as well.
Blessings,
~Charlotte
Just wanted to let you all know how we decided to handle it in case it helps someone else. We decided that although we have been explaining marriage and all that goes with it to our 10 yo, we were not ready to introduce how society perverts God's plan just yet with either of our boys. So we substituted temple slave for prostitute and it worked out fine. Thank you all for helping us to think through this issue.

Blessings,
~Charlotte

Lucy
Posts: 442
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 9:37 am

Fear of fire and other scary scenes

Unread post by Lucy » Mon Feb 25, 2008 8:44 pm

TriciaMR wrote:I got the Gladys Aylward book from YWAM at conference this summer. I've read it, and there are some things I don't think my dd should know/hear. For example, the almost assault in the hotel room. And then the story about how the Japanese made the man watch them burn his house down with his family in it. My daughter is very sensitive and emotional. She is petrified of fire (she won't even let us light her birthday candles).

The younger versions of the books are good (I've bought a few of those as "rewards"), but definitely not as long. I read about how some people have dealt with the temple prostitutes in the Amy Carmichael book (by using "slaves" or other words instead). Thanks for any words of wisdom you can share.

-Trish
I do think that we need to be careful what we read to our kids and each child is so different. Like the fact that your daughter is so afraid of fire.

I remember reading these to my kids when they were in 2nd and 4th grade and most of the time they were riveted by the action in the stories. I did what Crystal did and rephrased or skipped all together some parts but mostly I found the books to show the greatness of the work of God in the lives of ordinary people. I found that some of the harsh events only magnified the greatness of God and the power of the gospel. So in light of that, I did not try to get rid of every "bad" thing that happened to the missionaries or the people around them. I think these books can also be a spring-board for God to use to help us and our kids to see what a great need there is for Jesus in the world. We always discussed what we read to allow for questions.

So, yes, some of it may need to be skipped over or rephrased but I would consider not throwing out the whole book. I think the one that was the hardest for me was Amy Carmichael and yet it is also one of my favorites. It dealt with all of these unwanted girls. We did not explain at that time what was really going on so we skipped the word prostitute but my kids did not need to know why they were sold to the temple to feel the impact of the fact that they would even be sold at all. What joy in this book to see how these girls found unconditional love from God and from His people.

These are only my thoughts and of course each family must decide where they fall on the spectrum of when to reveal certain things to their kids. I would say that there is nothing in these books that is any more harsh or terrible than some of the stories in the bible. So in the same way that we choose to skip certain parts of the bible for a later time, I feel that these books are worth skipping a few parts, while getting the impact of the story in general.

I think you will find the book list in the T.M. to be another resource for books and other read aloud material, but just not missionary stories.

I hope this is helpful to you as you think through the decision to use these books or not. They are optional and the rest of the program is great even if you decide to use something else. We are doing it again this year. My son who is in 7th will read the upper level missionary stories this year.

Lucy

cbollin

Amy C.

Unread post by cbollin » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:49 pm

caod wrote:We are doing ECC. My oldest is almost 9. We have read all of the biographies so far but I am pausing with the one about Amy C. I wanted to get opinions from others on how their children responded to explanations that will need to be made about temple prostitution, the caste system, Hinduism and so on.

My dd was given to us through adoption and was born in India. We will study India a great deal but these are concepts that harken very close to who she is and where she came from. They could come with questions that I am not sure she is ready to handle just yet. How did your children react? Question? Enjoy?
Connie
Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 5:04 pm

We didn't have much trouble with caste or Hindu. A lot of that was dealt with other parts of the curriculum.

I changed the word temple prostitute to temple slave because of the age of my oldest child. She knew stories in the Bible with slavery. It was a quick fix to the issue without losing the story of what Amy Carmichael was doing. I also read the chapter to myself before reading it out loud and then I could just summarize a paragraph if needed. I don't really remember it being as much of an issue as I feared it would be.

I like how the YWAM biographies focus more on what God is doing and what extraordinary things that ordinary people did instead of focusing on the icky issues and/or plights of children.

-crystal

LSH in MS
Posts: 208
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Re: Amy C.

Unread post by LSH in MS » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:50 pm

Posted: Sun Mar 02, 2008 6:47 pm

My children were young when we did ECC and they were fine with it. I just explained it is that they had to work in a temple of false gods and that they were slaves as well.

Julie in MN
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Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:44 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Amy C.

Unread post by Julie in MN » Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:52 pm

Posted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:36 am

I think it's wonderful you are willing to adapt because you are sensitive to your child born in India. That's a special situation and maybe you have other moms who are resources about that particular situation.

But remember, you will first be praying for India etc. in ECC, just as you have for all the countries. And your child will have seen the pattern with the other countries you studied previously.

I would think your child would be glad to see India is included in your studies, and you could definitely put special emphasis on the best things in your studies & book basket etc. I think in general, ECC definitely has an emphasis on enjoying the culture. I still remember trying to wear the saari :o)

cbollin

David Livingston biography

Unread post by cbollin » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:25 am

RB wrote:We are scheduled to start this today and I remember reading about someone skipping it due to concerns. I don't have time to preread it, so i wonder if anyone can tell me what the potential concerns might be and why or why not to plow ahead with a 2nd and 3rd grader. We might just substitute a patricia St. John book that I is out of print but I ordered used (Three Go Searching).
Thanks!
The concerns that I've heard are that he was gone from contact with his family for very long stretches of time. This means little involvement in raising his kids, (right?) So, that's the big concern that I hear about on the internet. It's not because of graphic language or major icky incidents. If those are subjects that you aren't ready to talk about with your children, then go with another book that you'd enjoying reading aloud instead, and the read the book yourself. You'll have time to go back after Japan weeks and read it out loud if that is something you are comfortable with or to toss the book on the used market.

Also it showed that not all missionaries get along with each other on the field or feel the same way about stuff. There are lots of things in history that we all struggle with understanding. How could God have.... or Why did this..... or even did so-and-so really do what God asked or did they mess up a bit? Or you mean God still used King David after that incident? huh? you'll get a lot of that when you study history over the next few years. There's nothing really wrong with having questions. It wouldn't be right to present missionaries as always getting it right. They are just like you and me.

I'm in the "camp" that read it out loud to my kids and discussed that stuff. My oldest child understood it, but my 4th grader didn't understand how long he was gone. It can be a major part of the book, or just a footnote depending on how a parent handles it. My oldest child, 13 y.o these days, told me something after reading it. She said, maybe that's why one the missionaries we support isn't in a rush to get married.

-crystal
Last edited by cbollin on Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:35 am, edited 1 time in total.

TammyB
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:27 pm

Re: David Livingston biography

Unread post by TammyB » Mon Feb 23, 2009 7:49 am

Crystal,
You've actually read the book to kids, so you can speak from personal experience on how yours reacted.

I am a 21st century Christian, and I certainly understood that colors my perception of a book, but I was greatly disturbed by David Livingtone's absence from his family for years at a time. They suffered tremendously without him, and while I applaud what David did for God, I ache for his family. There are issues to be dealt with in this book (beyond David's neglect of his family) that I feel my children will be better prepared to sort through when they are older.

I would pre-read the book if I were you. You will then be in a better position to decide what is best for your children.

Julie in MN
Posts: 2925
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Location: Minnesota

Re: David Livingston biography

Unread post by Julie in MN » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:58 am

I have always said that the YWAM biographies changed my son's idea of a hero.
cbollin wrote:It wouldn't be right to present missionaries as always getting it right. They don't. They are just like you and me. right?
This is a good point. Of course, Livingstone doesn't have to be the method to teach this, but I definitely want to prepare my son for this in one way or another. It's very popular now for people (the media, college professors, books) to say that Christians did these horrible things... I want my son to wrestle with those issues at home before he faces the wolves :~

But you guys got me curious today. My son was a 3rd grader. What did he think back then? So... spoiler alert -- here's his notebook page to give a glimpse into what a 3rd grade boy got out of it (typos & all :) )
  • David Livingstone
    He had a wife and 5 children but... he was too busy in Africa, so he couldn't see his family too much :( ... he must have taught the Bible to like a zillion people! (he he he)...

    David was a traveler, missionary, doctor, preacher, and explorer. He is the first white man to go around certain places in Africa! His childhood was harsh. His job was picking up threads if they fell and sew them back on, and if he missed one he can get WHIPPED. And he worked 14 hours! 6 DAYS A WEEK!!! By the time he was an adult, still, HE EARNED 1 POUND (1 dollar) A MONTH!!!

    But after that... he worked hard to be a doctor... He was going to go to China as a missionary but... a war broke out, so he went toooooooo... AFRICA!! yay!!

    He traveled to about 1,000 villages white "people" had never seen! (Not only villages but, POIs!). [points of interest - picture of a waterfall here]

    He wrote a lot in his journals. Every day he would write in his journal what he did and everything. I would've died if I had to write it (he he he) :) .
[edited to add: Notebooking on the missionaries is not a required part of the curriculum. It is something I added, and I subtracted other things such as dictation in order to make room.]
Last edited by Julie in MN on Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:06 am, edited 3 times in total.
Julie, married 29 yrs, finding our way without Shane
(http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ShaneHansell)
Reid (21) college student; used MFW 3rd-12th grades (2004-2014)
Alexandra (29) mother; hs from 10th grade (2002)
Travis (32) engineer; never hs

RB
Posts: 87
Joined: Wed May 09, 2007 9:14 am

Re: David Livingston biography

Unread post by RB » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:39 am

Thanks for the helpful perspectives, Crystal, Tammy and Julie. I think I'll bring the book to my dd's ballet class today and preread in the lobby while she dances. We have really loved the YWAM biographies so far. I pray that they are changing my children's lives, but I know that they are already changing mine :)
R.B.
dd 15 dd 14 ds 12 ds 1
Adventures and 1st ('07/08), ECC and K ('08/09), CtG ('10-'11), RtR ('11-12), Expl-1850 ('12-'13)

Teresa in TX
Posts: 74
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:20 pm

Re: David Livingston biography

Unread post by Teresa in TX » Mon Feb 23, 2009 11:01 am

We read it last year during ECC. I did not preview it, and we didn't particularly like it, but I'm not one that would suggest not reading it, as I've grown to trust MFW's choices and I'm seeing the value of just discussing some of these things rather than banning them altogether. I think the whole thing felt a little dark to us, and the lack of his influence on the lives of his children really stood out to all of us. Parts were just so sad!! I remember my oldest not liking his life, particularly, and we all felt a big difference in the story of his life as opposed to those like Amy Carmichael (we loved her story) or Cameron Townsend.

If anything at all, I'd question his decision to have children in the first place. I will say, though, that there can be no denial of the major impact his life had on missions in Africa. I guess my ramblings sound mixed. I just thought I'd give our feelings and thoughts on it. If anything, it probably shows some of the struggles that must face missionaries everywhere and that things aren't always cut and dry. I mean, there are many missionaries who send their children to private schools far from where they are doing their mission work, not seeing them for months on end. I've always struggled with that also! If you do read it, it is worth a lot of discussion.
Teresa, Mom of 5: 15yo dd, 12yo ds, 7yo ds, 5yo ds, and 1yo ds

4th year with MFW
Using:
MFW 1st w/ 7yo ds
MFW RtR w/ 7th grade ds
MFW World History with 10th grade dd
So far we have used: ECC, 1850-Present, CTG, RtR, High School Ancients and MFW K

Mommyto2
Posts: 50
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Re: David Livingston biography

Unread post by Mommyto2 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:37 am

I am a mom who usually tells it like it is to my kids, maybe a little too much. Because of some things I read on the boards I did pre read the missionary books. I had originally thought I would skip this book because of what I consider poor family decisions by Mr. Livingstone. Also my children are adopted and "abandoned" by their biological parents so I was a little afraid of some backlash from the book because of it.

But yesterday I changed my mind. I felt led (hopefully by God) to read this book to my kids. We started with chapter one, obviously no big issues on the first three pages. But here is what I wanted to share. I was encouraged by Julie's 3rd grader who got some major points but didn't feel the huge impact of the abandoned family that we as moms feel. I started out before reading by stating that I think Dr. Livingstone was an amazing missionary who did wonderful work but made a poor decision in regards to his family. He went somewhere that he could not take his family for long periods of time. I think if someone is led to serve in areas like this, they should choose not to have a family at that time.

I was very proud of my son who piped up, "Yeah, that's what I'm gonna do. I'm not gonna have a family when I go there..."

I just can't describe how huge this statement is for our family and the MFW curriculum. We don't know any missionaries personally. We don't support a missionary individually as a family where we get constant updates. We don't go to missionary night at church, etc. We serve and support in other areas so for my son to really grasp the missionary concept and embrace it is all due to ECC.

So when your plodding along with the books and feel like your kids are not listening and not getting anything as they keep talking and running out of the room, be encouraged and know that God is working in their lives.

We will take this book day by day. If I feel like their spirit is being hurt because of the family issue, we will put it on the shelf. This conversation has reminded me to seek God in all things when I don't know the answer, even with something as simple as a book.

Brenda
mom to ds 9 and dd 6

cbollin

Re: David Livingston biography

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:48 am

Brenda,

well said. (wiping my eyes a bit)
I can so relate to so much of what you said about how using ECC changed our lives. We never use to pay much attention to missionary night or missionary newsletters, or any of that. Those changes for the better, not the perfect, came from using MFW all these years.

hopefully, this will encourage you a bit.....
As you continue through the book, you will end up noticing that our brother in Christ, David Livingstone, didn't originally intend to get married at all because of this issue. Help your children to take note of what happened to change his mind. Take note how Mary and the kids wanted to be with him and it didn't work like they hoped. Make note of the pressures the in-laws put on everyone to just not let them go. Make note of that.

so, don't miss that conversation opportunity either. go preview on page 116, but wait until you get to that part of the book before talking with the kids so that it will have full context to all of you. I'm glad you decided to read the book.

-crystal

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
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Re: David Livingston biography

Unread post by TriciaMR » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:58 am

You know, I have a little bit different perspective on D. Livingstone...

I think of men in the military (my dad served 20 years in the Air Force). There were times when we weren't allowed to go with him. Twice he went to Alaska for 1 year without his family. He did 6 months in Japan, by himself, just a month after he and Mom got married. He did many other shorter tours, again, where we couldn't go.

I think of the men now, who serve and get assigned to go fight for our country. Some of them never meet their children when they die in action. Some of them go, and when they return, their children are 2 or 3 and don't remember their dad. After my dad went on his first tour to Alaska and came back, he had a mustache. I wouldn't go near him until he shaved the mustache off, because he wasn't my dad otherwise. :)

Is this hard on families? Yes. But, my dad was doing his duty to his country in serving this way. Should he have never gotten married? He told Mom up front that he was going off to Japan in a month. She knew the risks and issues. Should they have never had children? Well, they would miss the joys of 2 children and 5 grandchildren. Even now, though, I struggle when my husband has business trips that last more than a couple of days. Those old feelings of when I was a kid resurface really easily. It is hard on the families left behind.

I don't think we can put should-haves/shouldn't-haves on Livingstone. He felt called by God to explore Africa. He was doing his duty and serving God and future missionaries. He was (and we all are, too) in God's army, doing what God called him to do. That means sacrifices and hardships, loneliness and even heartache sometimes. Just like if you were in the military serving your country.

Not saying that everyone should read this to their children. You have to see what God tells you for your family. I'm just looking at this from a different perspective...

God bless,
Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
My blog

TammyB
Posts: 87
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:27 pm

Re: David Livingston biography

Unread post by TammyB » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:08 pm

Good points, Trish.

I honestly am not judging whether David should or should not have had a family. The issue that I am wrestling with is whether or not it was God who called him to work in Africa in the manner he did.

It has been six months since I read the book, but I am remembering several particularly heartbreaking events. In one, after he had been gone for several years (I think it was that long.), one of his sons set out on his own to look for him. I can only imagine the anguish that young man must have felt that led to that decision. The other disturbing event was when his wife left their children to join David on an expedition. At that point she seemed desperate to be with him....so desperate that she left her children knowing that she would be gone for some length of time. She literally felt she was unable to be separated from him any longer. As you know, she ended up meeting a cruel death (without David) from starvation and exposure to disease.

The whole situation is just so troubling to me. I guess I don't really want to wrap my brain around the possibility that it was God who called him to explore Africa in the way he did. I can handle it if it were David's choice. But God's choice? That is a lot harder.

Blessings!

scale
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 21, 2008 6:36 pm

Re: David Livingston biography

Unread post by scale » Sat Feb 28, 2009 1:28 pm

My son was in the 3rd grade when we read this book. He is now in the 7th grade. After reading this book, he wanted to read anything on David Livingston he could get. He still remembers everything about him, but he always felt God had a big plan for David. I, like some of the other moms on this thread, saw the missing out on family time etc. After doing ECC my son really talked about being a missionary. He is my first born, it was our first year to homeschool and as much as I loved MFW, I started praying, "God, is this why you had me bring him home, do you plan on using him as a missionary?" I wasn't sure that I was okay with that. My plan was to have my children as close to me as possible their whole life. Since we have been homeschooling, I have changed a lot. I have learned God's plan is not always my plan. I have also got to the point that if my son is called to be a missionary, I will totally back him up. My mom and I had this conversation; she said, "What if he died?". I of course would be sad, but I have decided that I am not raising him for this world, but for eternity. If he becomes a missionary and dies in the field, I know that he died doing God's work. If he stayed home and didn't do what God called him to do and turned from God, was hit by a car, he could go to hell. I know all of that is extreme, but after all I have learned from the stories that MFW has recommended to us, I have learned to have much more faith in God, and a lot less control over my own life. That is what I want my children to learn. Sometimes to learn that they have to see all sides, even the hard ones.

In Christ,
Shawna Cale

P.S. My son asked while reading David Livingston, "Why didn't his wife ever get pregnant while he was in Africa?" My surprise at the fact he didn't have a clue that it took Mom and Dad to make baby. However, that soon changed. He was reading through the Bible for Creation to Greeks, when I decided to have the birds and bees talk with him. He had a million questions and it was the best conversation we could have ever had. At the end I said, "Now you know why David didn't have any kids while he was in AFrica." He laughed and smiled. So if you want to know how to prepare for ... education just let your child read the Bible.

cbollin

MFW Grade Recommendations?

Unread post by cbollin » Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:03 am

gratitude wrote:There are a few missionary books we may have to put on hold! I love missionary books, but when does a mom really feel ready to teach prostitution, child slavery, etc.?
When I did ECC the first time, I just read the books and didn't have too much heads up (other than what was in the manual) about some of that. It really wasn't a huge focus in the book.

Have you seen some of the archive discussion on ways to do that? You probably have, but for benefit of others who might be reading and going "huh? what?"
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2042
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5077

I found when my oldest did ECC in 2nd grade (ADV wasn't written yet!) that it was easy to sub out the word "temple prostitute" for "temple slave". We knew slavery was bad from Bible studies, so that was the main point I wanted my daughter to get -- Amy Carmichael stood up to injustice. The girls were slaves. The book doesn't go into tons of details about it.

Then, lo and behold, when we did ECC in 7th grade with her (and middle gal was 4th grade), it was easier to talk about it with both. Turns out that my oldest was learning (from church) about modern Christian heroes who do similar things that Amy Carmichael did. So, God was awesome to take care of the details on it. I would have never expected to talk about the "human trafficking" (aka s*x slave trade), but I'm more thankful that I was the one leading discussions with my oldest on that, so that when it came up in church where our church was sponsoring a mission project to raise funds to help with various safe houses.... well, wow.

anyway....

I guess my point on it is that the way the biographies are done, I found that they focused more on what God and His people were doing, and less on the topics of slavery, temple worship practices, etc. It really was more about This person stood up for what God told them to do.

anyway, it's funny about the relaxing with next kids. I'm not a first born. My dh is. So, it's funny to me to watch the differences in teaching driver's ed to our oldest. I'm ready to hand her the keys. He wants to take it slowly. She's all nervous (I can't drive the van. If I crash it, that's a big loss. If the red car gets in a mess, that's not a loss really. it's ...) No, mom, I can't drive in front of my youngest sister. She'll want to drive. I have to protect that and save you the trouble.

LOL LOL

-crystal

gratitude
Posts: 677
Joined: Mon May 10, 2010 11:50 am

Re: MFW Grade Recommendations?

Unread post by gratitude » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:17 am

cbollin wrote:Then, lo and behold, when we did ECC in 7th grade with her (and middle gal was 4th grade), it was easier to talk about it with both. Turns out that my oldest was learning (from church) about modern Christian heroes who do similar things that Amy Carmichael did. So, God was awesome to take care of the details on it. I would have never expected to talk about the "human trafficking" (aka s*x slave trade), but I'm more thankful that I was the one leading discussions with my oldest on that, so that when it came up in church where our church was sponsoring a mission project to raise funds to help with various safe houses.... well, wow.
Wow. Thanks for the insight! Our church does a lot with missions, and I know they work with child trafficking from Mexico some. They do A LOT in the summer for elementary (K-5th) for an intro to missions. I never thought about how detailed it could get in 6th grade once they are out of the elementary room! I did read George Muller to him last spring, and he Loved it. I did skip the first 4 -5 chapters though. The rest of the book was a wonderful story of George Muller's faith and trust in God. My ds really grabbed onto the story and talked about it for days.

netpea
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Aug 13, 2005 9:02 am

Re: MFW Grade Recommendations?

Unread post by netpea » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:45 pm

So far we are up to ECC and I havent' had too much trouble with any of the topics we're discussing. We loved Cameron Townsend and Nate Saint, haven't gotten to Amy Carmicheal yet. It's not ECC that is bringing up hard topics as much as our Community Bible Study. We are studying Acts this year and last year it was Genesis. My kids as 2nd and 4th graders did the Genesis study right along with me as 3rd and 5th graders they are studying Acts right along with me. We've had to discuss incest, ..., homosexuality, prostitution, Eunichs, and other topics I never expected to talk about at their ages. I just try to answer their questions and not go farther into the discussion than what they are asking.
- Lee Ann
Using ECC for 2010/2011 with a 3rd and 5th grader

cbollin

Mature Themes with sensitive children? ECC

Unread post by cbollin » Fri May 25, 2012 9:42 am

albanyaloe wrote:After reading another thread about using ECC with a 1st grader, it got me wondering about the "mature themes" in ECC. And how will we handle it? I guess we're conservative, and have not exposed our children to (most) the modern movies and books children are exposed to. Also, living in an extremely violent country, we have enough real fear to live with, without adding fear, by allowing our children to watch unnecessary violence, scary movies etc. Hope that I am making sense here.

What I mean is, I already have extremely cautious children, even slightly nervous due to the society we live in. I mean, currently, we are praying with my 5yo about her fear issues, after a recent incident. Our 9yo friend over the road was mugged at knife point down our road, and he came running to our home, screaming, in shock. He was unharmed, fortunately, but his mobile phone stolen. Our 5yo daughter has really been affected by it and has become clingy and attached. Lots of questions about God and his protection and why it happened. Tough things for a 5yo to understand, so I just keep reassuring Gods promises. (It'll be hard to believe me on this next point, but we actually live in a safe neighborhood)

When we had to read Hero Tales for SL, when my son was 4, I really struggled. It was way too mature for him then. Since then we have read some of those stories, and I do adapt them slightly, for the girls and just show my son the book, as he is not sensitive now. Our children do know that Christians suffer, have been killed for their faith, and about persecution, I just never get into ugly details. (I am incredibly sensitive myself)

I was wondering how this would affect us doing ECC. Would there be parts/books you suggest I skip with her? I do believe there is value for even my sensitive child in learning from the faith of those missionaries who have gone before us. This is probably exactly what the Lord is wanting for our family to see. But I defintely do not want to shock them. I just wondered, does MFW give you a heads up on the gruesome chapters in the TM, for those that are a bit more sensitive?

Any other tips from those who are sensitive, or perhaps live in less than ideal neighborhoods?
Thanks,
Lindy
A lot of the "mature themes" aren't dealt with in graphic style. Yes, in many cases there are heads up notes in the manual to preview this icky chapter.

to give you an idea of what are those topics, here are some archived threads
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2042
http://board.mfwbooks.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=5077

You might need to not read these books to all of your children. On the other hand, the stories are more about God's hand in things and less on the graphic details of the bad stuff.

-crystal

TriciaMR
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:43 am

Re: Mature Themes with sensitive children? ECC

Unread post by TriciaMR » Fri May 25, 2012 9:44 am

My kids are pretty sensitive, too. I read the books to them at lunch, editing as I went. I would also pre-read the next chapter, looking for anything that might upset them. My oldest would have been 8, and the twins 4.

George Mueller is probably has the least violence and such. He was a bad kid, and then God got a hold of him. But, bad things do happen to him (wife and children die).

Amy Carmichael - we just changed "prostitute" to "temple slave." There were robbers attacking caravans, but Amy and company just removed their jewelry so they were no longer a target.

Gladys Aylward - there is some stuff with the beheading of some people here and there... can probably be easily skipped. And her train trip through Russia was not pleasant. Prereading this one would be good.

Cameron Townsend - pretty mild life. Not a fast moving story. I'm not remembering anything super dramatic.

Nate Saint - this has the most "violence" with the natives killing him. But, there are warnings in the TM and guidance on how to gently introduce it. But, you could skip those chapters and just read the stuff in the TM.

David Livingstone - controversial because he leaves his family behind as he explores Africa. The main "violence" in this one is lion attacks. But, you would probably be able to relate to this one the most (though he traveled further north).

But that's just me. My kids don't watch much T.V. It took them a year to work their way up to watching Toy Story 3 because it was so action packed. We just watched Star Wars for the first time this week, and I gave warnings about when to close their eyes when I thought it would be too much for them. So, that is where we stand.

-Trish
Trish - Wife to Phil, Mom to Toni(18), Charlie(14), and Trent(14)
2014-2015 - AHL, CTG
2015-2016 - WHL, RTR
2016-2017 - EXP1850, US1877
2017-2018 - DE, 1850MOD
2018-2019 - College, AHL
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