When I first looked at the website for Growing Up Wild it brought me back many years to when I was a child and missionaries would come to church and give their presentations while on furlough. I always enjoyed learning about different cultures and about life in another land. One of the missionaries we supported is from Papua New Guinea which is where this video series takes place so I was very excited for our children to watch this and have a small glimpse into the lives of missionary children.
Growing Up Wild is a video series that began as a creative outlet for the Wild family who serve as missionaries to the Wanu people of Papua, Indonesia. They are a family of six and the videos follow the everyday life of the four Wild brothers. We were able to review Volume 1 containing the episodes: Home Sweet Hut, Supply Trip, and Sun & Water and Volume 4 containing: Amazing World Around Us, Adventures in Culture, and Tribal Calling.
These were excellent family videos to watch! I think my boys especially enjoyed watching other boys their ages in a different culture experiencing things like finding snakes, riding in a helicopter for a supply trip, seeing the beautiful creatures like the bird of paradise, and the cool house they live in and learning about a new people group. The only thing almost all of us hid our face from was when two of the Wild boys along with some of the tribal boys had their septum pierced with a small sharpened piece of wood, which is something that is normal for the Wano people. Surprisingly, it wasn't painful but the thought of it alone made my stomach turn. I laughed so hard at the end when the suggested activity was to pierce your septum. Thankfully she was just kidding! I was also pleasantly surprised to see a familiar face in one of the pictures at the end of an episode. A girl I was in a singing group with in high school, who I knew was a missionary as her parents had been, was in a picture with Mrs. Wild. It is a small world!
The best part of this is that God is glorified in all they do. And I love what the Wild brothers Mom tells her boys -- “We learn and work hard at gaining knowledge, not so that we will become smart or be known as clever, or in order to make a name for ourselves, but so that we can be used for Christ.”
The episodes are not very long and so we ended up watching each volume in one sitting. Keep in mind that the videos were made by the Wild family and so it is not a big production but the quality of what is being learned is so good. They are real people following hard after God and sharing their lives with you and there is a real connection there.
After each episode they list suggested activities to help you think more about your own culture and connect with theirs and make it more real. Those activities are also included on a separate CD in a pdf file. Activities vary from building a model hut like the house the Wilds live in to filling out a chart (included printable) on how the Wano culture differs from our own. You can learn about the various creatures in Papua and there are suggested scripture readings and research projects to write about. This video series is wonderful for not only to enjoy as a family but has educational value as well.
I highly recommend this series to any family that wants to help their children learn about how God is working in all parts of the world and expand their worldview.
Thank You Wild family for giving us a glimpse of your life with the Wano people! May God continue to be glorified through your lives as you serve Him.
There are 5 volumes in the Growing Up Wild series and you can purchase each one for $18.99 or the entire set for $80.99. Each volume contains an activity guide.