Ministry as a Family Affair

Missionary kids abroad learn young how to get involved

Christopher "Bear" McFarland (lying on bench) lifts weights with his dad, Darin, and a group of boys and young men who also have special needs. Photo by Ted Wilcox

Darin and Susan McFarland, missionaries with Campus Crusade for Christ, have raised their children to not only know Christ, but to serve Him in their daily lives. The kids see that living a life of faith means more than showing up for a church service.

One way they have accomplished this is by hosting Christmas parties nearly every year while living in Ekaterinburg, Russia. The kids invite their friends to hear the gospel message. Using colored bags with different objects, the Christmas story is explained in Russian.

"Christmas parties are the easiest thing to do because your house is already decorated," Susan says. "It is a natural way to have kids over and say, 'Want to hear the Christmas story?'"

For many of the children, it is the first time they have heard about the significance of Christmas.

Last year, the McFarlands hosted parties for Alex's hockey team, Christopher's weight lifting team, Abbey's ballet class and some of Nick's friends.