Missions from the eyes of a 9-year-old

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T.J. Herron may only be 9 years old, but that hasn’t stopped him from doing mission work. Every year, instead of asking for birthday or Christmas presents, he insists his friends and family help him raise money for his mission trips. He’s already been down to the island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras to do mission work three different times. I interviewed him (with help from his mom, Tammy) last month about his experience and thoughts on mission work. What follows has been edited for length and content. See T.J. for the full story!

Nathan: Do you like mission work?

TJ: I like it. You get to talk to a lot of people about here and about Jesus; and about how we should treat others.

Nathan: Do you think mission work is important? Why?

TJ: Yes, because you get to spread the love of Jesus more.

Nathan: Do you think other kids should do mission work?

TJ: Yes. They can learn some culture and it can really be helpful in history [class] and in college.

Nathan: What’s the most important thing kids who haven’t done mission work should know about it?

TJ: To treat people with kindness and tell them about Jesus.

Nathan: Do people there live pretty much the same as us or how do they live?

TJ: They build their own houses and there’s pretty much no property, is there?

Tammy: There is, but it’s very expensive. Most people don’t own their own homes. They have to rent. They rent the land but they have to build their own homes on it.

Nathan: What do they use to build their homes? Do they just go down to Home Depot?

TJ: No, they go to the lumberjack. It’s on this side of the islands and tons of people live on this side of the island and they bike over. Oh, and tons of people live in the dump.

Nathan: They live in the dump? What does that mean?

TJ: They build houses out of the stuff there. Teepees, and they build little shacks. It’s amazing what you can do with garbage! It stinks there, though.

Tammy: What else happens at the feeds [at La Colina]? What do you pass out?

TJ: Gift bags for the kids and adults with toothbrushes, toothpaste, coloring stuff, a miniature coloring book, hand sanitizer, a stuffed animal. There’s like 15 items in the bags.

Tammy: What do you do for the grown ups?

TJ: We pack huge bags from Stater Brothers and Costco and fill them with stuff that person needs for their family.

Tammy: What does grandpa do at the end?

TJ: Normally he stands up in the back of the truck and tells everyone about Jesus.

Tammy: And why do you do that? Can people listen if their tummies are hungry?

TJ: No.

-words by Nathan Jones, Chair of the National and World Missions Commission, printed in the May 2015 issue of the Tapestry.

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