Homeschooling has always been at heart of everything God has done in and through Eden Eskaros and her missions. After helping to raise donations of over 1,000 pairs of shoes for children in Mexico, Eden (affectionately called Eme by her friends and family) took on the vision of bringing school supplies, donations and resources on a return trip to Mexico in order to build and start a school.
These ministry outreach opportunities would not have been available to Eme had she been going to a regulated school. In an interview, Mrs. Eskaros explains how homeschooling “has been at the very heart of everything God has done in and through Eden and missions”.
Because of homeschooling, Eme has been able to excel in multiple areas; some of which have attributed to her passion and joy for missions. “Homeschooling has afforded Eme (and each member of our family) three key blessings that God has used for missions: Time, Communication, and Community!”
One key aspect of Eme’s mission work has been time; time spent with her and her family, as Mrs. Eskaros explains “…time to pray over the mission field, to talk about what we see on the field, to write letters together to shoe stores, to pray over those letters, to draw pictures on those letters, to thank people who give, and so on and so on.” Homeschooling has allowed the Eskaros family much time to greatly impact and pour into the lives of those around them. “… That time God has used to steer us to the people He wants to bless, with the blessings He intended to provide all along!” (Mrs. Eskaros).
Eme has much to say about homeschooling providing her and her family with more time, and how that time has helped to grow her relationships with her parents and sisters. She explains that, “as a homeschooling family, our family is very close, and that has been so important to us reaching others for Jesus. Our relationships are strong because God is here, and our homeschooling gives us time together.”
Eme also describes her relationship with her parents and sisters, and how it is made possible through homeschooling, “I can talk to my parents about all of what I think about missions – I can talk to them about anything and they help me with all of it. Like my mom, she helps me write those letters and talk to so many people. My dad tells me all the time to never give up, to always persist and persevere in prayer. My sisters are with me and help me with all of it – coming on the field with me, praying with me, encouraging me when I am nervous. None of that would happen without homeschooling keeping us together as things happen.”
Homeschooling has also helped Eme to gain confidence in communicating with adults, including her parents, other homeschoolers, pastors, and even reaching her church’s 5,000-member congregation. “Homeschooling has allowed her to learn how to conduct herself in the sometimes intimidating world of adults,” explains Mrs. Eskaros, “and as such she has learned how to articulate the Gospel and her vision for missions, both to people within the church, on live TV, to CNN reporters, and others.” Though only a child, Eme has lived, served, communicated above and beyond the expectations of an eleven year-old and her mom confidently attributes this to homeschooling, “Eme may be a child, but homeschooling has taught her when to play like a child, and when to communicate like an adult.”
As well as time and good communication, homeschooling has also afforded Eme and her family the gift of community. “We have a strong homeschooling community in our church, Calvary Chapel Old Bridge, led by Pastor Lloyd Pulley” Mrs. Eskaros explains, “and our Home Education Group, led by Liz Estevez, has opened its arms wide for Eme and her heart for missions.”
Mrs. Eskaros explains how they were able to reach homeschoolers with their vision for Training Children to Care, a ministry that came out of all that God did in Eme’s dream of raising shoes for the children in Mexico. “Homeschoolers have been on the front lines of every single project,” Mrs. Eskaros recounts, “Giving shoes, sending letters, making T-shirts, making chocolate, and raising support.” Homeschooling created a thriving community for Eme to share her passion for helping others. Mrs. Eskaros conveys that “[her and Eme’s] homeschooling community and church family have been the backbone of [the] entire outreach. None of it would have happened without them.”
Homeschooling has allowed young Eme Eskaros the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people across Mexico. Children in Mexico now have shoes because of Eme’s passion. Resources are being raised to help start up a school to teach the children of Mexico how to read and write, and how to learn a trade; and all because Eme decided that she wanted to make her mark in the world. And not because of the fame, but because of her passion for God and her love for people in need.
Photo Credit: Picture 1: Eden and a little girl from Mexico; Pictures 2 and 3: Eden and her mom, Carol Eskaros.