“Are you taking your kids with you?” It was a question which, though we were asked it several times, never ceased to surprise us. Of course we were!
No, the place we were going to was not “kid friendly”. For that matter it was not “Christian friendly” and some might say, not even “people friendly”.
God had called us to Central Asia. Us – not me. That meant that we would take the kids. I am not even sure what the alternative was. Kennels? Overstaying at the day care centre?
We took our one, and three year old, children into Central Asia in faith, knowing that while it was not the ideal place to raise kids, that God had called us, as a family, to the lost Muslims of the Central Asia region. Separated from peers, extended family, speakers of their mother language and even playgrounds it was, at times, difficult for the kids.
Were there dangers? Yes. But living is dangerous. Breathing is dangerous. Driving a car is dangerous. This is not a reason to stop driving or breathing. And less so when the cause is the cross.
Sometimes it was safer than being in New Zealand. Imagine losing a child at a market. A market with 10,000 people swarming around in every direction, hustling, bustling, pushing and shoving. Somewhere in the mass is your little blond haired boy. How do you feel? Alarmed? Frightened? Terrified? Not when you realise that there are seven white people in the entire market, all of them part of your party. It wasn’t going to take long to find the missing member. It didn’t. He was sitting down, being pampered by some caring locals, who quite enjoyed the novelty of a little blonde visitor. Funny that. The locals are friendly. So we took two kids in Central Asia. We survived. We even multiplied. We came back with four kids, all blond.
Josh and Leigh are recently relocated to Gordonton where Josh enjoys writing and cryptic crosswords and Leigh takes pleasure in sewing and gardening. They both miss playing hide and seek with their children in crowded Asian markets!