Mission Trips: Keeping it in the Family

Q and A with Jordan Mathias:

Missions and mission trips are nothing new to the Mathias family. My wife, Page, and I lived and served in the Middle East for a number of years. As a family now living in the US, we pray and look for opportunities to share the gospel with our neighbors. We are a family living on mission.

Page and I pray often for our 4 girls to know and love the Lord. Our hope is that they will follow Him the rest of their lives, no matter where He takes them. As a dad, praying for your child is easy, seeing those prayers answered can sometimes be a bit unnerving. This April, I was there as my daughter Jordan trusted God to raise her funds, prepare her spiritually and physically, and as she began to take her first steps internationally on mission for God.

So how was Jordan’s first international mission trip? Let her tell you-

My name is Jordan and I am 14 years old. I am about to be in high school and I just returned from a mission trip to Japan. This has been something my parents and I have been talking and praying about for years, so I was excited to finally be able to use my passport and go.

I was really glad to go on my first mission trip, especially to Japan. It was meaningful being with other college and seminary students, getting to pray with them, and talking with them about their passion for the nations. I loved seeing a different culture, meeting new Japanese friends, and trying unique foods (I love tuna sushi now!)

What are some of the experiences you remember?

The whole trip was amazing and inspiring. Every experience was new to me. One that sticks out, is when we visited a retirement home. Japan is an older culture and they respect the elderly, so this was a good opportunity to minister to an important part of the Japanese culture. We made button trees with Japanese ladies, sang songs, and spent time with these older people. It was a wonderful and fun time.

Some other experiences that stood out to me were when we visited some of the temples and prayer-walked the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Seeing and praying for the lostness in Japan had a major impact on me. It’s just so sad that people think that idols can save them and don’t know about Jesus.

So, what about going on your first mission trip with your dad? How was it?

Honestly, this made the trip even better. My sisters and I pray for my dad a lot when he travels, and we all want to go on a mission trip. So, to be able to go with him was really special. He really helped me along the way, talking to me when I needed advice, and praying with me about the things I was seeing. I loved being with him and experiencing Japan on mission with him.

How would you sum up your first international mission trip?

It was an experience that changed my life and I will never forget it. I made some new Japanese friends that I am keeping in touch with and praying for. Did I mention that I love sushi now? It has also changed how I think about my friends here. Since returning home, I pray a lot more for them. I don’t want them to be lost and I’m hoping to be able to tell my friends about Jesus.

In my role at SEBTS, I often travel to equip and train missionaries. So, while going on and leading mission trips is nothing new for me, this Japan trip stood out for one reason…my oldest daughter, Jordan, was a part of this mission team. Going on a short-term mission trip with your child is a life changing experience for them, for you, and for your relationship. Jordan and I will always share Japan, but more importantly, she is developing a heart for the lost and the nations.

Who knows how God will ultimately use a week-long mission trip in Jordan’s life, but he Lord is starting to answer our prayers for our daughters. As a dad, I’m glad that we’re passing the baton of missions and mission trips on to our girls. That’s one thing I definitely want to keep in the family.

  • How are you developing a love for the Lord and a heart for the nations in your children?
  • Have you considered going on a short-term mission trip with your child?
  • Here’s one good resource that we use with our girlsWindows on the World Resource


Greg Mathias Contributor
Associate Director
Greg Mathias serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Great Commission Studies. His area of focus is international missions, and Greg works closely with our students who desire to serve in this context.
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Posted in Blog, From the Center, Missions, Pray for Missionaries, Trips.

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