Parents, Goodbyes, and the Cost of Missions for Families

Goodbyes are costly—not just for missionaries, but for their parents.

How can parents say goodbye to their children who pursue missions? How can grandparents part with their grandchildren in the name of ministry? And what happens when parents are aren’t believers or don’t support their kids’ involvement in cross-cultural ministry?

This week, we have a sit-down, heart-to-heart chat with the Dunford family about what it was like to send their kids and grandkids to a closed country as missionaries.

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Alex Kocman & Scott Dunford

Alex Kocman is the Director of Communications and Engagement for ABWE. He serves as general editor for Message Magazine and co-hosts The Missions Podcast. After earning his M.A. in Communication and B.S. in Biblical Studies, he served as an online apologetics instructor with Liberty University and a youth pastor in Pennsylvania, where he now resides with his wife and three children. Read his blog or follow him on X/Twitter.

Scott Dunford is the pastor of Western Hills Church in San Mateo, Calif. Previously, Scott served as Vice President of Mobilization and Communications for ABWE and as a missionary in East Asia. Scott graduated from Northland International University (B.A. in Pastoral Studies), earned his M.A. in biblical studies from Central Baptist Theological Seminary, his M.B.A. from Cornerstone University, and is currently enrolled in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s D.Min. program with an emphasis on missions.