Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mission-Minded Kids

As adults, we should do what we can to help others in need and share the love of God to hurting people.  But how do we pass compassion on to our kids?  How do we teach them to have compassion for others and to give of themselves?  I'm not exactly sure, but I have some ideas and I'd like to hear yours.

I guess the best idea I can think of is leading by example.  If your child sees you helping others and giving of yourself on a regular basis then he is more likely to see the importance of those actions and want to help others himself.  I also think we need to teach them what the Bible says about loving others and giving of ourselves - and then live it out in our daily lives.  Then it becomes more than just words on paper.  It becomes action. 

I've been doing those things to the best of my ability at home (of course, I can always use some improvement!).  However, we live in a comfortable American suburb and my children do not know what it means to be in need or have a real hurt beyond getting a boo-boo at the playground.  I tell them stories about people in different countries who do not have the comforts that we do and their eyes just glaze over - they have no idea what I'm talking about...I realized I needed to show them these needs.  But how?  

Well, I found a great resource that I'm happy to share with you.  The International Mission Board has a special site just for kids called Kids on a Mission.  Kids can watch videos, learn the needs of others, pray for people around the world and then learn what that they can do to help.  There are lots of local missions to get involved in locally, too.  Last week, we stopped by our area's food pantry to donate Girl Scout cookies from our troop.  The kids were able to see that there are people who cannot afford even the basics.  It was good for them to visit there and we were invited to come back to volunteer - we most definitely will!

Check out Kids on a Mission here!  And afterward, stop by the International Mission Board's site to donate to the Japan relief efforts here.  They have people already working on the ground in Japan and your dollars will go to those who need it most.

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