Stories & news
If you have sometimes felt you had little to offer for mission service… think again! Read how volunteers felt about their experiences over the years, as MissionNannys.
From Kelli, volunteer in Fiji…
November, when did you sneak up so fast? It seems like it was just March and I was getting settled into Fiji. Time really does fly when you are having a good time and soon my time will be over here in Fiji. God has blessed me so much these past 8 1/2 months and I have seen myself grow and become stronger in Him. He has shown me a new world and a different way that people live. He has helped me with patience and love and given me a bigger heart to love people.
I have learned so much and that your relationships with people matter more than getting a job done. Fiji is so many different things: beautiful, happy, colorful, strong, friendly, and one of a kind. The Pittman family has done a great job including me in their family for the last year. I got to so many things with them. I’ve had ups and downs with the girls, but we always made up. I’ve been able to see these girls reach goals and how happy they get when they get there. Each girl I will always hold close to me and I know when I do get home, I still want to stay in communication with them. This family will always be my Fiji Family. So I ask now, that as I will soon be making the transition back home, I ask that you pray for me that it will be a smooth transition. I am nervous for it, but I know God will help me through it all. I also ask that you pray for the Pittman’s because it’ll just be them until January, and that’ll be able to transition too. I have grown to love this little country, and it’ll always be with me. No matter where God takes me next!
Here is a letter from the parents of three of three of our volunteers.
Greetings from Anne and Stephen…
It is my husband and I who would like to thank you for allowing our three children to experience life on the mission field in such a meaningful way. Madeline went to Brazil and Rachel to Bolivia and now William is going to the same family in Bolivia. I actually had the pleasure of flying to Bolivia and met the Andersons and have kept in regular contact with them since.
Our daughters’ lives were eternally altered by their time as a Mission Nanny and we are so thankful to God for leading us to your website and to you for leading this ministry. Since being a Mission Nanny, they have volunteered in Guatemala and Rachel went to Peru this summer to volunteer teach at a Christian school there. They are both currently studying at the University of Toronto, Madeline Psychology and Rachel BioChemistry.
We were delighted to hear that William is the first male to serve as a Mission Nanny and he is very honoured! We know that there are countless missionary families who need our encouragement and support and I tell everyone I can about the website. We cannot thank you enough for your love and support of our children and we pray that God will use them all for His glory.
From Whitney in Spain…
“Serving the S. family for the past seven months brought so many adventures to my life. What a challenge it was for me in the beginning learning how to take care of five year old triplets!
Over the course of seven months, these three children helped me to learn and understand the true nature of being a servant. We became the best of friends and I soon felt like a big sister in the family. I learned so much about living in a different country. The S. family became my second family. Their love was always there when I needed it the most. The triplets were always there to give me a hug and always had so many questions for me! What a blessing it was for me to be able to travel and explore both Spain and Europe.
I know I forever have a second family in Spain and will look for opportunities to be able to go back and visit them in the future. Sierra, Michael, and Jonathan have forever won me over and always have a place in my heart. I miss them so much already! God is good and always has a purpose in everything He does, I know without a doubt that I was called to come and stay with this family and my life will forever be changed because of that. Thank you so much for EVERYTHING, Betty!” Whitney
From Sheridan, back from Japan.
My trip to Japan was so incredible. I loved it so much. The family I lived with were so awesome I wanted to be more like them in many ways. It wasn’t always easy and I know life is just like that at times. I definitely learned new things while I was there both about culture, other people and myself. When I was there I would often just stand and look out the window amazed that the Lord would take me there. I can still close my eyes and see the beauty of Japan. The Lord is doing something amazing there and I am so glad that I could be a small party of it. To be able to witness the love for the Lord in fellow believers there spoke so much to me and it is something I know I will never forget. Lord willing I hope and pray to be able to go back again someday.
Thank you Betty!
Love in Christ,
From Ashley in France.
Experiencing a family so centered on Christ and so dedicated to living out their faith amongst opposition, changed my heart. I was inspired by the children’s day to day experiences in France and how spiritually mature they are because of their lifestyle. I loved loving on this family: and they fiercely loved on me even more. I was encouraged this summer and blessed with new perspective. Attached is a photo with me [holding child in red sweater] and their precious family.
In his name, Ashley
From Elin in Chad, Africa.
For 16 months I had the privilege to serve the K. family through Mission Nannys. I was immediately welcomed into the family. My primary responsibility was to assist with home schooling. I was able to use my education degree to develop fun lessons for the children. I was also able to offer help with household tasks of preparing food, cleaning the house, doing laundry, and playing with the children. I was made aware of how laborious a simple life on the mission field could be. I received a first hand experience of life in Chad. Life in the compound was good, though I won’t lie, there were times when I struggled with loneliness.
Not only did I receive a second family for the rest of my life, but I had the privilege to witness the strength of the church in Chad. The church is doing amazing things serving their community. The people I had the pleasure to get to know gave generously and from their hearts. They live the gospel and were a great example to me of how Christian community could look.
Leaving Chad was like leaving home, knowing that I wouldn’t be returning in the near future. As the new school year drew near I was reminded that I will not be returning to Chad this year. As you can imagine mixed emotions arise. On one hand, I am looking forward to working with children in a local after-school program called Campfire Columbia. It is exciting to meet new families and develop lessons that may impact lives. On the other hand I am constantly reminded that life goes on, even when I am not around. Babies have been born in Chad that I probably will never meet. The children that I played with on a regular basis will be getting older and going off to school.
My experience in Chad was an overall positive one. It was a life altering experience that I would recommend to others, particularly those who are considering mission work. It will always be a piece of my life that I will share with people. I strongly encourage others to serve in a similar capacity because the rewards are numerous.”
From Abi in Honduras.
Mission Nannys provided me with the opportunity to make an incredible, insightful journey to San Pedro Sula, Honduras. It sounds like a cliché to say that my life will never be the same, but it’s the truth! My mind and heart were opened to entirely new dimensions, and my soul fed in exciting new ways. It makes one stop and think about the things that really matter in life. The things that hold eternal value. It inspires us to see things through the eyes of service instead of self. I thank Betty Sullins, and Mission Nannys, for the amazing odyessy I have been on, and pray that God will continue to bless them and those they serve! Thanks again for all you do,
From Kelsey in Uganda
Dear Betty, Thank you so much for making it possible for me to be a Mission Nanny! The 9 months I spent with the Luckey family in Uganda changed my life. I was so honored to be able to home school their two beautiful, fun adopted daughters who became two of my best friends. I learned so much from those girls and I have no doubt that the Lord put us in each other’s lives for a reason. Becoming a part of the Luckey family was, and still is, such a blessing. I was able to not only teach Janae and Adelynn, but also work alongside the whole family in their ministry in Africa. I also helped around the home, doing whatever was necessary. I felt so welcomed and inclu-ded and it was pure joy to serve Christ by serving the Luckeys. It was amazing to see how God works first hand, watching Him provide and fulfill His promises in such a poor country. I able to meet some truly incredible people and get a taste of what it’s like to be out on the mission field. My dream now is to get back out there and serve again in whatever Christ calls me to do. I am forever changed and, although I miss my “Africa family” so much, I’m excited to see what God has next for me. I grew so much spiritually, especially during the challenging times, and I wouldn’t change a single thing! Thank you so much for making my dream of serving in Africa a reality!
In Christ, Kelsey.
From Sarah in Malaga, Spain:
Dear Betty: Sorry for the delayed response as I was away doing some traveling. I have a picture to send your way – it’s hard to get all three kids in one spot long enough for a picture, but this is a fun one!
God is so good. In some ways I can’t believe what all God has done in paving the way to come to the S family, and also to go back to Canada. When it’s God’s timing and plan it’s amazing how He works out the details. So when I get back I have a place lined up to live…a basement suite that is walking distance to work. That’s the other thing…I have a full time job at the day care at my church starting the beginning of October. So a job and a great place to live! I am still in awe of how it all came together. I will for sure keep in touch and let you know how I am doing once I get settled back into my place.
Mikala and her ‘family’ in Seattle. She is helping with care for the two boys, and also helping with household chores. This photo was taken on one of the family’s outings.
From Becky, returned from France.
Hi Betty, I nannied for the C family for two months. During that time I really felt like a part of their family. I saw their work in and outside of their church, and several young people in their church baptized. I got to participate in an outreach program in the nearby city of Chantilly. Emma and I were able to present the song Walk on the Water (translated) through interpretive choreography. I was able to encourage Emma to use her talents for the glory of God. I will miss the children a lot because they are so sweet and loving. I loved to see how A grew even in the short time I was there.
After the family left for furlough in the US, I went west to the Parole de Vie (Word of Life) camp in the region of Brittany. As the “babysitter” I took care of the staff’s children whenever they needed to do something else. I visited with the campers and leaders and offered to help with anything else that needed to be done. There was a large group of STC students from the US and France who helped out. There were many opportunities for me to practice my French and that was wonderful. I got to make many friends and we encouraged one another throughout the 4 weeks, and it was so fun! God really used this time to teach me more about trusting Him, submitting everything to Him, and truly allowing Him to help me do what He has called me to do. He has also surprised me with His wonderful blessings. I am so thankful that Mission Nannys helped me have this experience.
From Laura, returned from San Salvador.
Hi Mrs. Sullins, I made it back safely, and am glad to be home, although I miss my “new” family and all the friends I made. Here is my testimony, as well as two pictures. The first is me with the three older kids. The fourth wasn’t in the picture taking mood. 🙂 The second is me and Carly, a little girl at one of the Children’s homes in San Salvador that I was able to visit often.
My time with the M family was such an incredible blessing, almost too much to even describe. I arrived in just complete obedience to God, ready for whatever it would be, even if it ended up not being what I expected. But I ended up finding a second family: Amazing people that I had the privilege to serve, who will continue to be a part of my life in the future.
God taught me so much through this experience. Lessons about depending upon Him, remaining broken before Him constantly, and how incredibly blessed I am. He showed me so much, and blessed me ABOVE and BEYOND, just as He promises He is able. The four M kids have found a forever place in my heart. From the very first day, they, as well as their parents, welcomed me right into their family.
Mission Nannys is being used mightily by God, by giving people like me the opportunity to serve in ways I never thought possible, as well as by blessing the missionaries who receiving the service. Whenever people would ask how I ended up doing what I was doing and I explained it to them, they were amazed and thought Missions Nannys was just the neatest thing ever. I am so grateful to my Lord, Lover, and Savior, Jesus Christ for this opportunity.
From Jenni returned from Romania.
“Dear Betty, I really enjoyed my time at the River of Life Care Home and I miss all the kids, moms, and staff with whom I was working alongside. It was a growing experience in my own life and Christian walk. When I got home I felt like I had grown closer to God and my faith had grown mightily. I was somewhat surprised at what God taught me in Romania and why He called me there for three months. One thing I learned was how important it is to set aside time to be with God. Being busy taking care of the kids I didn’t have as much time to spend seeking the Lord in prayer and studying His word. God challenged me with a question. “How important am I for you to make time for me?” So I had to really work at giving up some of my sleep or other times that I wasn’t in charge of watching the kids and spend it with my Savior.
My favorite part of being in Romania was watching how Doug and Roberta ran their ministry. The care home is such a needed ministry not only in Romania but all over the world and I loved spending time with the moms and their kids. Thanks for putting your ministry of “MissionNannys” together, Betty, and introducing me to the Moore’s who became my second family. In Christ, Jenni”
From Hope returned from France:
“Hi Betty, Sorry it has taken me so long to respond with my testimony! just got through my first week of college! So here is my testimony: I spent three months in France and I know God provided just the right family for me. It was an amazing experience and I would definitely do it again! This was such a great opportunity to be part of a different culture and see new thing. I loved every minute of it!”
From a Mission Nanny returned from Albania:
“It was such a great opportunity for me to get to serve in Albania. What better way is there to see the world and see the hand of God in the lives of people around the globe? Missions has been a call I have always felt on my life, but it took shape in ways I never would have expected. In July of 2010, I headed to Durres, Albania, with less then 5 weeks notice, and virtually no knowledge of the culture or history of the area. I knew God had told me to go, and that was where my understanding ended. I learned a lot of things while I was there. I learned to never assume you know what God has planned. He will shock you every time, and His plans are ALWAYS better than whatever I imagined. I had the pleasure of working with a great ministry in Durres. The Pastor there has really poured his life and time into the carrying God’s love across the country. It’s amazing the hope and joy that the message of the gospel brings to people who don’t have the comfort we so take for granted in this country. Teaching the children was a joy and a challenge. I have grown so much as a person, and so much as a follower of Christ. The people of Albania touched me in a way I won’t forget. I will miss them all.” Photo: Abi with children she home-schooled in Albania.
“From Danae returned from Mexico.
Here is a testimony of my time with the L family. I was blessed with the opportunity through Mission Nannys to be able to travel to Mazatlan, Mexico and serve with the [missionary couple] and their two youngest girls. Through this beautiful family I was able to see how God is working in the lives of the people in Mazatlan. I think I learned more from the girls than they learned from me. These two girls lead a very unique double life in a way. Eight months of the year they live in Mexico and then for the rest of the year they live in California. They have an amazing ability to adapt to the culture they are in. It was awesome to see the growth in both of the girls in my time with them. It has not been easy for them but this season was different; they made new friends and did well in their new school. I am glad I was able to support this family in their mission to reach Mazatlan for Christ. Since the girls are in a Mexican school during the day I had the opportunity to serve in the community and at the shop during the day. God is truly working in the lives of the surfers, tourists, seasonal residents, and locals, rich and poor alike, through [this dedicated] family. God worked in my life while serving with this family.
From Lauren returned from Albania.
I know God directed me to Albania for a purpose, to grow my own character as well as help the family in a special time of need. The direction my travels took was unexpected, but God knew exactly how much I could handle, and He provided strength for every step.
From a Mission Nanny in Rovigo, Italy. Ashley is a joy for the whole church. She is staying with a different family weekly (or, for two week periods), and spends the days at our house ministering in many ways. We’ve set up her room as an office. She fits in wonderfully as a part of our family, and is also dearly loved by all of the other believers. She has been studying and learning many skills which will allow her to do more in the ministry, while at the same time she is already helping in many ways. We thank God for the difference we are seeing with her being here.
From Megan returned from Paris, France.
“From the moment I first heard about the need for a mission nanny in France God’s still small voice whispered to me that He wanted me to go. I emailed back and forth several times about it and was disappointed initially that it didn’t seem my availability was a perfect match for their needs. However I trusted God that if He wanted me to go He would work it out and He did! I had an amazing time with my family and saw so many wonderful sights in Europe and grew SO much closer to the Lord. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to serve!”
From a Mission Nanny to Mexico:
This has been the most wonderful experience for me – truly of the Lord.
From a Mission Nanny to Italy:
Thanks for the opportunity to serve and help a family in need. It was such a blessing to me.
From a Mission Nanny to Romania:
I spent 3 months in Romania with an interesting missionary family. It opened my eyes to new customs, needs and opportunities and I would not have missed it for the world.
From a Family in Mexico.
Dear Friends and Family, We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping to make her ministry possible through your prayers and financial support. She has been in Mexico for the past four months with our family. We have been ministering in Mexico for the past six years in church planting, evangelism, youth and children’s work. Some time ago we began to feel concerned about some unmet needs in our children’s education, especially for our youngest son who struggles with significant learning disabilities. We prayed and considered leaving the ministry. A dear friend of ours encouraged us to pray that God would send the help we needed for our son. If God had called us to this work He could provide for this special need, so we did pray and asked others to join us.
Yes, you guessed it, God sent us Nancy! She has been an enormous blessing to our family, like a ray of sun shine and a needed breath of fresh air!
Our boys have had an excellent semester in their school. Our younger son has made amazing progress and for the first time in his life has felt positive about school! Nancy’s experience with learning challenges and her creativity was exactly what was needed. In no time she had special programs from the internet up and going, remedial reading and spelling, projects like paper making and other fun and messy science experiments. Who knew school could be so fun! We are going to miss her very much, but we are thankful to the Lord for answering our prayer by sending Nancy to walk this mile with our family. Thank you for being a part of God’s work around the world through special people like Nancy.
From a Missionary family as they saw their MissionNanny couple leave: “Mr. and Mrs. H left for home yesterday. It was hard to see them go. We all got attached to them. We are so grateful for the work they did with the boys which was nothing short of a miracle. Joshua, the youngest who has learning difficulties, made huge progress in his education and is feeling much more confidence in his skills. Daniel will forever be a better math student and a better writer. We are so very thankful for the ministry of mission nanny’s. The contribution you have made in our ministry is very significant. Without the help that you have provided through your volunteers I do not think we would have been able to stay on the field these last number of years. Meeting the needs of the children is one of the biggest issues that can take missionaries off the field. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO HELPING MISSIONARIES AROUND THE WORLD! Many blessings to you, (the R family)”
From Family in Turkey:
MissionNannys has been such a blessing to our family. Coming back to Turkey with 2 month old twins plus our toddler was an overwhelming prospect for my husband and I. From the start I felt your commitment to match the best Nanny up with our family. Having one for one year enabled me to regain my strength and have periods of rest while raising 3 young children this first year back on the field.
From a Family in France:
Just a note to say how much we appreciated MissionNannys help this school year. Mary Lee has done an excellent job with our three children, and has also been a real addition to the church here, helping with the youth. Her love for the Lord and servant spirit have ministered to all of us.
From a Family in Penang, Malaysia.
Dear Betty, As we do our final packing and say our final farewells I wanted to send you a note as well to express once again our thanks for the part you played in our successful sabbatical. Katie, our Mission Nanny, has been even more than we had hoped and prayed for. God knew our needs and provided just the right person for us. Katie fit into the family immediately and she was well-prepared to serve us in just the way we needed. She has been a servant in every sense of the word.
I tell you this so that you will have still another testimony of how Mission Nannys has helped to extend God’s kingdom in this world. Melanie and I will return to the field encouraged and refreshed. We couldn’t have done it without Katie, and we wouldn’t have had Katie without you….
From a Family in Japan:
When I was in the hospital for 12 days and later when I was gone another 10 days for the birth of the baby, the Mission Nanny was there to take care of the older children at home. Her being there enabled my husband to make many trips to the hospitals. Without her, he would not have been able to continue teaching many of his English classes, and we could not have paid our bills!
From a Family in Jalisco, Mexico:
Mission Nannys helped our family through a very difficult, stressful period in our ministry. Having a stable, Christ-centered adult to help us care for our children was a life-saver. The Mission Nanny gave wise, careful advice and assurance and she fit right into our family.
From a Family in Taiwan:
The Mission Nanny has been with us for 6 months, giving freely of herself. She made pancakes smothered in her homemade syrup for breakfast this morning. She got the baby to smile for our last-minute family photo and her laughter is infectious. Then for dinner she made my favorite cornbread! I had great peace leaving the baby with her 3 mornings a week as I went out to lead Bible Studies. Two days after her arrival I had the joy of seeing two ladies confess faith in Christ. Praise God I could have part in this because Betty came to give of herself so freely.
From a Family in Switzerland
Dear Betty, I am writing to thank you for all your efforts and valuable insights in placing Dianne M in our home as a “missionary nanny” to our children. She lived with us for 8 weeks, caring for our little guy, Micah, each day so that I could attend a daily intensive language class in the nearby city of Basel, Switzerland.
I had no idea how much I would come to appreciate Dianne! She truly became an integral part of our family during those busy weeks. Not only did she care tenderly for Micah each day, she also took care of our evening meals and helped with piles of laundry each week … always with a smile and servant attitude. Each Sunday evening, we had an informal meeting to talk about the week ahead and to plan meals, discuss needs and everyone’s schedules. Therefore, we didn’t experience misunderstandings, unrealistic expectations, or communication problems. Dianne just wanted to serve where there were needs, according to our perspective rather than her own. That was very thoughtful.
One of the things I appreciated most about Dianne’s wisdom and experience as a nanny was that she was very careful to avoid interfering with our parenting. She followed our lead and gave us space to enjoy our kids in the evenings and to maintain family unity. When asked for parenting wisdom, she offered it graciously, as a seasoned mother of three boys. However, it was never forced or exerted inappropriately. I really miss her input and our lively, inspiring conversations. She was also considerate about allowing Rob and I to have time alone to talk regularly … in our small apartment, that took considerable effort on her part. I will always remember Micah’s endearing thoughts of his special nanny. When asked recently who his best friend was, he confidently exclaimed, “Miss Dianne!” That says a lot!! Our daughter, Amanda, offered to be Dianne’s flower girl, if ever the need would arise! Our children truly adored Dianne and her young heart, helpful ways, and daily kindnesses. She added a warmth to our home that we indeed miss.
It is by God’s grace and your wisdom that Dianne was placed with our family. Thank you for allowing the Lord to lead you in your leadership of Mission Nannys. We will be ever-thankful for our connection with this special organization.
From a Family in Japan, struggling to learn the local language. “…The end-run came to us almost (but not quite) too late. One-and-a-half months before our year of Japanese lessons ended, we received a precious gift in the form of Mrs. Peggy, a widowed doctor’s wife who had raised her own children and wanted to do something special for a missionary family. I was constantly awed at how this woman of means came for the specific purpose of serving our family in any way we needed. She had long since given up cooking, but recouped that skill for our family. She hung out the laundry. She washed dishes. She took the kids on outings to the park.
And during home schooling hours, she taught Joseph while Judy taught Sarah and I taught Nathanael. We were all amazed at the super progress Joseph made under her able tutelage. He memorized whole chapters of the Bible for his Bible time with her. He progressed in Science and Writing and Reading. She had a golden touch with all our kids. I found it difficult, at first, to let go of the chores. I continued doing the dishes. There were times when I would come down to the kitchen and find Peggy already finishing the dishes.
There were times when Peggy and I would try to strike the best balance: sometimes I would do the dishes since she had simply done more than her share already in the day and she really needed a break; other times she would say, “I came to help you have time to do Japanese, so let me do the dishes now.” What a wonderful servant of God she was for us.
She came to be with us from the end of January until the middle of May – almost four months. With the extra time I had to study, I zoomed ahead in my speaking ability. By then I had already given up on the Chinese Characters, but somehow the entire year of verbal learning came into focus during the time she was with us. By the beginning of March, several friends commented that my Japanese had suddenly become more fluent. I could express myself far more easily. From April, I began auditing seminary classes at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Kobe. Meanwhile, Judy continued her Japanese lessons until the end of May.
It was a sad day to see Miss Peggy leave. She helped our family SO much. We all miss her and look forward to seeing her again when we are back in the States.”
From a Family in Japan:
Dear Betty, … We were blessed to have Dianne here as our Mission Nanny. She helped in so many ways. She enabled Jackie to be able to study Japanese at home and a language school. She also enabled Jackie to participate in some of the ministry work. Having four young kids: 5, 3, 2 years old and now 6 months old, keeps Jackie busy. David was able to get back to his routine of Japanese language study, teaching English and church work.
We also moved from Suzaka to Nakano, which is about 20 to 30 minutes away. Dianne was able to watch the kids while Jackie packed. On our moving day Dianne helped load our van and help Jackie unpack our belongings in our new location. On the home front Dianne was able to assist Jackie with various tasks so that consistent child raising was accomplished during this time of transition.
Dianne was able to share her testimony at the church we worked with in Suzaka. She was able to attend a ladies luncheon with Jackie. The ladies luncheon was sponsored by several churches in Nagano and it’s main purpose was to reach out to those who do not know Jesus as their personal Savior. Dianne was able to attend the church we work with now in Nakano and she was able to go to the home with one of the families for dinner.
We praise our heavenly father for allowing using Dianne to bless our lives and the lives of Japanese people.