Monday, August 15, 2011

Raising a Generation to Be the Hands and Feet of Christ

Hello Friends,

I have been so burdened for the people of the horn of Africa. I know there are problems all over the world and even in our own country, people are having trouble getting by. But these photos of starving children, similar in age to mine are heartbreaking. As I was looking through the news online this morning, my oldest son, Silas, came and sat on my lap and looked with me. He instantly started brainstorming all the ways we could help these people- some of his better ideas were to put some Ramen Noodles on a toy boat and sail it to Africa :) and to give them all the extra zucchini from our garden. I loved it! I loved having that conversation with my son about how we can help people and how we can do the work Jesus has asked us to do. 

We aren't going to send Ramen noodles via toy boat or ship a box of zucchini, but we did decide to donate money to Samaritan's Purse, an organization working diligently in Kenya to distribute much needed food. Being a one-income family, we don't have lots of extra money to spare, but we want to help. Jarrod and I have decided that in an effort to raise our boys and let them see that there is a bigger world, a hurting world, a suffering world that desperately needs them to do all they can to help, we're going to sit down every payday as a family and discuss an area of the world that needs our help and our prayers. And then we're going to sit as a family and make a donation online to an organization we trust in that area. I know it seems like a drop in the bucket when you look at the overall situations in our world, but it's at least doing something. I pray that my kids grow in their capacity for compassion and are driven to be generous to others in need. I know all of you parents wish that for your kids- well let's start modeling it and letting them participate in the merciful, life-giving work that Jesus deeply wants us to do. I would encourage all of you to think of a similar family activity that inspires generosity and grows compassion, not only in our kids, but in us too. 

Blessings to you all! 

"What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
-James 2:14-17

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence ...” 
-John 3:16-19