Growing up Wild {TOS review}

Have you ever met a family with a heart for Jesus and a love of people, who take that heart onto the mission field into a foreign country? Well, the DVD series Growing up Wild introduces you to the Wild family, who are missionaries in Papua. It’s Mike (dad), Elizabeth (mom) and their four sons Morgan, Hudson, Kian and Asher (a.k.a. the Wild brothers). If you’re wondering, yes, their last name is really Wild, which is so fitting for the perspective we gain into their lives of living in the “wild.”

Through spectacular video footage, they invite you into their lives, their home, the culture in which they now live and to learn about Jesus. Growing up Wild is filmed in Papua, Indonesia where the Wilds have their ministry. They have been sharing the gospel with the Wano people who are indigenous in that area of Indonesia. Obviously, there are so many differences between the lives they lead there and the lives we lead in America, but there are also many similarities.

The Growing up Wild five-set, DVD series puts you right “on the mission field” with the Wild brothers. Although Elizabeth narrates the DVDs, she tells the stories through the eyes of her sons. The missionary work they do and the lives of the boys are interwoven creating a series that immediately grabs the attention of anyone watching the DVDs. Instead of just reading about the family serving on the mission field, we get to see live experiences that show the boys interacting with the Wano people, completing everyday tasks, exploring the environment in which they live all while sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

We had the opportunity to watch Growing up Wild – Volume 1 and Growing up Wild – Volume 4. Each DVD has three episodes that are about 15 minutes long. It is just enough to give you a good look in and enough to make you want to see more.

Growing up Wild – Volume 1 episodes include:

Home Sweet Hut is where we get to see glimpses of the building of their home in the remote area where they live. We are taken on a tour through the Wild home and get to see different areas like the LEGO loft (boys = LEGOs), kitchen, school area, etc. Although they are living in the jungle, it was nice to see that they are able to still enjoy some of the luxuries from home (USA); electricity, running water, indoor toilets, an indoor shower and YES, a computer.

Supply Trip takes us on a shopping trip of supplies used in the home. Everything the Wild family does is pretty much as a family. Making plans to shop — taking inventory of current stock and shopping for many months in one trip is done as a family.

Sun & Water is where you get to see more of how the family uses God’s resources and ingenuity to supply their needs for water supply and electricity.

Growing up Wild – Volume 4 episodes include:

Amazing World Around Us is one episode that I didn’t watch with both eyes open. I think I left the room. I’m sorry, but I just don’t do bugs, snakes and other things that crawl very well. That gives you a little insight into how well I would do living in that region.

Adventures in Culture really gives you insight into the lives of the people in Wano. It is a good compare and contrast episode for you and your children to learn about not necessarily accepting the ways of other cultures, but learning and gaining an understanding of how other people live.

Tribal Calling gives you insight into the Wild family, answering God’s call and their missionary work.

Each DVD volume includes a DVD of fun and educational activities for you to do with your children. They incorporate the activities with the episodes on the DVD.

Although my children may never eat fish eyeballs or squid tentacles, there is a lot of takeaway from the lives that the Wild boys live. My children were able to see the simplicity of the lives the Wilds live and how much fun and learning there is still to be had, literally in the middle of nowhere. Life was still good and exciting even though they didn’t have all of the luxuries we enjoy in the states.

It also gave them a chance to see children, just like them, serving the Lord (and not themselves) alongside their parents and making a difference in the lives of other people.

I did watch the videos before sitting down to watch them with my children, so that I would be prepared for possible conversation topics that may come up after watching the episodes. Because there are cultural differences, there may be some parts of the DVDs that you may want to prepare for (ex: attire or the minimum amount of, body piercings, some foods and the way they’re eaten). Again, many of those are part of learning about different cultures, which is one of the benefits of watching the series.

Read their blog, which has a copy of their newsletter Jungle Journey.

The Growing up Wild DVD series is available for $80.99 (+ shipping and tax) or you may purchase the individual DVDs for $18.99 (+ shipping and tax).

You can read more reviews of this item by fellow crew members on The Homeschool Crew Blog.

Disclaimer: The product featured in this review was provided to me in exchange for an honest review by the manufacturer or representing PR agency as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew. The opinions expressed are my own.
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