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Don't Forget to Pack the Kids: Short Term Missions for Families Paperback – February 28, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jill has a BA in English and Education from Washington University in St. Louis and an MDiv in theology from Bethel University, St. Paul. She is an award-winning writer and speaker. Jill has published three books and numerous articles and speaks in Chicago and surrounding areas. She serves as Pastor of Discipleship at Resolution Church in Oswego, Illinois. Her three kids have been to thirteen countries, and counting.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 146 pages
  • Publisher: BeachGlass (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615581188
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615581187
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,466,436 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jill has been a high school teacher, pastor, editor, and writer, and the field is still wide open for future options. She writes in a variety of genres, having published hundreds of magazine articles, one novel, one book of plays, and two non-fiction books. Currently, she is working on a young adult novel involving one very unwilling heroine and her questionably legal friend.


Jill loves oceans, cats, chocolate, teenagers, her family, the Cubs, and God, not necessarily in that order. She is also a professional speaker and is available for speaking engagements.

Jill is represented by Diana Flegel at Hartline Literary Agency.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By voxbox on March 19, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is about short term mission trips for families, with the focus on taking even young children along. Included are the arguments for (and for balance, against) this kind of activity, significant "how-to" passages, and many stories of the author's family's trip to work in an orphanage in China.

This book could be very helpful to various kinds of readers. First, those just wanting to explore the whole idea, but still undecided. Second, those who want to go a step farther and begin the search for the particular agency/ country/ ministry that they will choose. Third, those with preliminary arrangments made, who want detailed assistance with logistics such as passports and immunizations; fundraising ideas; what to pack, and how to navigate cultural issues in their destination country. A fourth kind of reader may be interested in the journal elements of a particular trip, with its many anecdotes.
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Format: Paperback
Don't Forget to Pack the Kids: Short Term Missions for Families was a book I finished last week. For those of you who have not heard of this book it is about a family who takes a short missions trip to a Chinese orphanage. Leaving behind everything they know, to help serve and donate their time to help care for children. It mixes personal experience stories with a traveling "How-to" guide for anyone else that may be considering trips. This all stemmed from the desire to have their children understand the latest technology and toys are not the most important things in life. There really are starving children out there. They would give anything to live a life with items we take for granted.

We have within our reach everything we need or want, within a fifteen minute radius and I believe we become numb to that. The author, Jill Richardson, feared this culture of prosperity and instant gratification would in fact affect her kids view on life in regards to needs and wants. Don't we all?

This book was amazing and illustrated their mission trip in so many ways that touched my heart.

I want to share an excerpt that literally brought tears to my eyes:

Her daughter holding a child in the nursery: " I don't want to leave her mom.

She's sleeping sweetheart. Becca (twelve) looked at the sleeping child.

When will she have her surgery?

The orphanage now routinely funded the surgery for cleft palates. I don't know how old they have to be. They say they come out with barely a scar. They'll make her little mouth beautiful.

I don't want to leave her, how could anyone just leave her?

I know. Mom? She set the little girl into the crib.

What? She's already beautiful (pg. 13)".
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Format: Paperback
I have one daughter whose dream is to become a missionary, she is 8, so many have asked her, "Why?", or "You could do ABC instead." - so when I had the chance to read and review Don't Forget to Pack the Kids I was excited and Jill Richardson has reaffirmed my hearts desire to take the children on a mission trip. I've always wanted to take my children on a short term mission trip, but kept thinking I needed to wait until they were older, given that my children are 11 (she'd be fine but very sensitive), 8 (also fine and very sensitive) and 6 almost 7 (all boy, needs lot of stuff to do and often doesn't pay attention) - I kept thinking there is no way I could take them on a mission trip and have them help in the building of a well or house or church.

Thank you, Jill, for opening my eyes and re-inspiring me - I want to keep my 8 year old's flame ignited and going as well as to have my other children be Jesus' hand and feet. My heart is called to Africa as well as China - and while my husband probably wouldn't be able to accompany us - I'd love to be able to raise the support to take my children and I to show Jesus to those who otherwise wouldn't get to see Him. Jill's books offers very doable advice in how to prepare yourself both physical (like vaccinations), emotional and the legal side of things (I'd have to get a document stating my husband is allowing me to take the children out of the country) as well as how to evaluate if your doing the mission trip for the right or wrong reasons, things to pack and not to pack, and probably most importantly, fundraising - her family of 5 had to raise $10,000 (most of us don't have that lying around).
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Format: Paperback
Don't Forget to Pack the Kids: Short Term Missions for Your Whole Family by Jill Richardson is a winner! It's a tiny, quick read of just 134 detailed pages but it sure packs a punch!

Jill Richardson, author of Don't Forget to Pack the Kids, gives you an insightful look at traveling across the world to do missionary work with their 3 kids and this book can be considered a great resource in 'how to and why you should.'

On a personal note, my husband and I took our 4 children to Europe on a vacation (ages 9 months, 6, 8 and 10) and this book would have been invaluable at that time! From the opening statements of "why would anyone take kids to do God's mission work, especially so far, with so many perils?" It's simple. It's what he asks of us! Children need to be aware that the world out there is not always Happy Meals and X-boxes, but of those that go without, those that need to hear God's message and God willing, those missionaries with the resources and love in their hearts to deliver it.

Richardson delivers this book in a detailed, organized format. It's nearly step by step and check list oriented, so you can follow along with what's needed to be done and why. I love how this author gives detailed explanations and stories of why something should be done. She covers many topics from language barriers to food to cultural dressing and more.

One of the gifts of this book is the inclusion of the Spiritual Gift Inventory Appendix. If I could have memorized just one section of this book, it would be this one! It's insightful, uplifting, encouraging. It gives so much meaning to the premise of what mission trips are all about AND walking a daily walk with faith!

5 stars for Don't Forget to Pack the Kids!
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