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Missionary Mom: Giving Away Toys

02.18.15
by Marnee, missionary to Thailand
in Asia, Missionaries
“When we get wherever we are going we can buy you some new toys.” You would think that might fix it all, but no.

Our family spent most of 2014 busily preparing to move to Thailand. During the last part of our preparation, we sold or left behind most of our possessions and moved to Kansas City for four months. We left behind toys that were special to our boys such as bikes, Legos, a trampoline, and even their bunk bed—all were hard items to let go. Not only was it hard to watch, but then I also had to try to explain why to those little ears. As a mother, I realized how much this was costing my children.

This became especially clear to me when my 8-year-old son had to get rid of a toy from the Dollar Store. We purchased the toy upon arriving in Kansas City. It was a cheap toy, about two dollars, I think. The kind of toy that we, as mothers, know often gets played with at first and then tossed into the closet, never to be seen again. As we packed our bags for the flight home, I saw for the first time how my 8-year-old clung to this two-dollar toy.

He fought to keep it, saying, “It will fit in our suitcase!”

At first I thought, this is ridiculous. Then it hit me! It was not the toy itself that he had to have, but it represented home and security. It broke my heart to see the look of loss on his face as he let the toy go.

This has been an adjustment for all of us. We made it a priority to talk with the children daily about all the changes. They have been able to express their sadness as well as their excitement. Still, you cannot totally prepare them for the feelings and emotions that they will go through as they leave everything and get rid of most their possessions.

Will this get easier for them? I do not have an answer yet. As parents, we will continue to walk and talk with the children; make mistakes and learn from them; and, most of all to understand that God is with us on this journey.

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