Parents of Missionaries

How to Thrive and Stay Connected When Your Children and Grandchildren Serve Cross-Culturally

Co-authored with Cheryl Savageau, EdD, Parents of Missionaries combines a counselor’s professional insight and a parent’s personal journey, plus ideas and stories from dozens of missionaries and POMs—a valuable tool for missions mobilizers and educators as well as parents and families.

Parents of missionaries often feel isolated and experience unresolved grief, regardless of the positive emotions they also feel toward their children’s work. This book explains why and what to do about it.

It is possible to stay connected with your missionary and your grandchildren in meaningful ways, and to build and sustain those relationships despite the miles that separate. Not only can you survive as a POM—you can thrive.


  1. This Isn’t Easy
    God’s call to parents of missionaries


  1. Something Must Be Wrong with Me
    The experience of loss
  2. What’s My Role?
    Relating to adult children
  3. Do I Know You?
    The challenge of the empty-nest marriage
  4. Almost More Than I Can Take
    Coping with complex emotions


  1. Saying Good-Bye Well
    Positive preparations
  2. One More Hug
    Sane send-offs
  3. Different Isn’t Always Wrong
    Understanding missionary life
  4. Together Again
    Satisfying furloughs


  1. A Piece of Myself
    Building bridges to grandchildren far away
  2. Happy Holidays?
    Coping with holiday stress
  3. High-Tech and No-Tech Ways to Stay Close
    Connecting through mail and media
  4. The World Is My Neighborhood
    Travel to the field


  1. Finding and Giving Help
    From surviving to thriving

Published by InterVarsity Press

Free tip sheets for parents of missionaries

Click here to download eight free tip sheets for parents of missionaries:

  1. Top Ten Tips for Parents of Missionaries
  2. Ten Steps to Starting a Local POM Group
  3. Good POM Relationships with Adult Children
  4. POMs Can Grandparent Great Across the Miles!
  5. Ten Tips for Getting Through the Holidays as a POM
  6. How to Pray for Parents of Missionaries
  7. How to Understand and Help Your Parent (especially for recruits)
  8. How Churches and Agencies Can Do POM Care
– Diane


“Will help every missionary-sending family navigate this challenging and potential-packed journey.”Steve Richardson, president, Pioneers-USA

“Parents of missionaries often miss their children and grandchildren and experience a variety of emotions: fear, anger, pride, loneliness, and perhaps even bitterness toward God. The authors are uniquely qualified to address these important but often neglected topics, providing tangible steps toward acceptance and adjustment.”Doug Priest, executive director, CMF International

“POMs cannot help but be encouraged after reading this book. We can’t wait to share it with every one of our POMs.”Steve and Becky Overlin, Pioneer Bible Translators Missionary Care Department

“This is a must-read. I know of no other book that so expertly addresses the needs of parents of missionaries at so many levels.”Sherrie Johnson, coordinator of Family Ministries, EFCA ReachGlobal

– Diane

Reader Reviews

“Thanks so much for writing your book. It is speaking volumes to me, even as I struggle to read through my tears.” —e-mail from a reader

“It is our bedside companion to not only direct our hearts, prayers, and actions, but offers us perspective for ourselves and our view of our children’s work and their needs overseas. It is balanced, even including sensitivity to parents who are not Christian who have said goodbye to kids who are off to serve for the sake of their faith. I have ordered multiple copies to give as a gift to fellow POMs.” —review on

“Read the whole book to learn how to better understand your loss and grief, how to seek out and receive help, from God and from others, and how to be the best support and teammate for your family members overseas. There can be joy even in the midst of grieving.”—Craig Thompson,


– Diane