We met a great guy named Tate at Christ's Legacy Church this morning. He's 7 years old and already has a feeling he'll be a missionary some day! It's so refreshing when the next generation sees the importance of making Jesus known.
I remember when I was a little kid I saw missionaries come visit our church and freaked out every time - it was always sermons interlaced with stories about malaria, weird food, and killer bugs. This is just shooting from the hip, but I do believe telling stories about eating monkey brains is not the best selling point on missions for 9-year-old girls. I was definitely not on board for the missionary life!
Since then, I've been to various places around the world doing mission trips. It took years for God to gently bring me around to the fact that I needed to obey Him...even if it meant coming in contact with a scary bug along the way. The more I realized that God wants me (and all of us, for that matter) to share in His grace for humanity by participating in missions, the more I became excited about it. It would have been awesome to have had such an enthusiasm for missions at a very young age...like Tate!
To all the young guys and girls out there exploring the plans God has for you - missions starts now! Everywhere you are, there are people needing to know that Jesus loves them. God values obedience more than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). As for the monkey brains...just be praying that God has you coming to work with us in Ireland. :)