By Lori Dixon
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them? For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” (Matt 19:14 NLT)
19 December 2017—What visual image comes to mind when you picture a missionary? Sensible shoes, conservative clothing and a no-nonsense bun, or perhaps the requisite missionary shirt? Maybe they are young adults sporting tattoos and a goatee or wearing a boho skirt? Perhaps they might even look like the reflection you see in the mirror each morning. It is not easy to spot a missionary these days. They come from all walks of life and different cultures. They come in all different packages—even mini-me ones.
Meet Olivia Stocksdale, our six-year-old missionary elect to Botswana. Olivia, along with her brothers Simeon (four) and Declan (two) are the newest MKs (missionary kids) with Global Strategy. They are quickly becoming seasoned travelers, accompanying their parents, Corey and Abby Stocksdale, across the country sharing about their call to serve alongside the people of Botswana to develop a program with Children of Promise, a Church of God child sponsorship program that partners with local churches and pastors across the globe.
This little family has logged many miles visiting churches and individuals to raise the funds necessary to get to their field assignment. While traveling, Corey and Abby began to hear reports of Olivia sharing all about Botswana with her class or children’s church. They recently asked her some questions about this experience. We thought you might enjoy the view from Olivia’s perspective.
Q: “What made you decide to start teaching the kids you meet in class about Botswana?”
Olivia: I told myself to and I think I felt like maybe I wanted to preach a little bit like you guys.
Q: What do you teach the kids about Botswana?
Olivia: I say Dumela mma is for a girl and Dumela ma is for a boy. And I say we are going to become missionaries, and help the orphans and teach people about God.
Little ears listen, learn, and, more importantly, understand that God is leading her family to do something very special for him.
There you have it, a mini-me missionary. And Olivia is so excited to be on this big adventure with her family. The Stocksdales’ monthly needs are currently 81% funded. They’ve begun making preparations for their move to Botswana. They will attend the Missionary Training Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in January. The four-week intensive training will help prepare them for the cross-cultural and language challenges they will encounter in their new home. It is an invaluable program for the entire missionary-elect family.
If you would like to partner with Olivia to get her family to Botswana, visit their profile here.