Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Global Edition

So here we go... the very last edition of Heidi's  Living Lovely with Family series.  I've really enjoyed participating and I've gathered a ton of great ideas along the way... so thank you, Heidi, for your creativity and your leadership-- it's been fun and awfully beneficial!

For the last installment, we're sharing ways to promote a healthy view of the world and its people... ways to raise our children with a global perspective.  Hmmm, not something I think about every day, yet oh-so vitally important. 

When I first saw the topic for this week, it through me for a bit of loop; it wasn't quite as straightforward as the others.  It required a bit of thought-- there are lots of things we do on a regular basis to try and instill in our children a regard for others around the world, some very obvious and intentional, others a bit more subtle... not necessarily the result of a specific lesson taught.  Instead, simply a part of who we are and what we believe.  As I sat and pondered my response, I quickly came to the conclusion that in today's society, most children, I think, tend to grow up with an extremely limited world view.  They fail to realize that the world actually extends beyond their own tiny sphere (as we like to say in out home-- "It's not all about us!") and that there are people groups on the other side of the globe (even some in their very own communities!) who are struggling just for survival.  Some look just like us and others look as different as night to day.  And yet all are precious in the eyes of God!  As our childhood favorite reminds us, "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.  Jesus loves the little children of the world."  

I doubt that our family will ever travel around the world to see for ourselves the many colors of creation, though who knows??  Perhaps the LORD will surprise us by opening a door that we'd never seek out ourselves?  In the meantime, Chris and I are doing what we can at home to teach our children about the whole world and the fact that though we're all different, Christ died for us all.

"For God so loved the world 
that He gave His one and only Son,
 that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish,
 but have everlasting life."

John 3:16 

As privileged Americans, we are no more deserving of God's love than any other-- I think it's important that our children realize this!  We are so thankful for the sacrifice Christ made at Calvary, and while we embrace His free  gift of salvation, we must share it with this lost and hurting world.  As followers of Jesus, it's our job to not only care for the less fortunate, but to also share His measureless love at the same time. 

To get us started on a practical front, the boys and I are currently studying world geography several times a week.  My two oldest work together to label a large laminated map as best they can-- continents, countries, oceans, seas-- and after they've exhausted themselves, we add 2 or 3 new locations for the next time.  It's amazing how much they've retained in just a little bit of time!  As part of our studies, we also read about various people groups in books like A Child's Geography: Explore His Earth by Ann Voskamp, Children Just Like Me, the M. Lasek series, Missions Now: Just Add Me! by Clifford Clark [it has recipes, too!], and The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer.  We also read about missionaries, too.  We love this book, and are always on the lookout for more quality biographies.  Soon, we'll be diving into the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series for an in depth look into the lives of several missionaries and their walks of faith.

Aside from our studies, our family also sponsors a sweet little Indonesian boy named Owen. Each month, Compassion International uses the money we give to meet Owen's many needs, and those of his family, as well.  They provide food, educational materials, clothing, Bibles, godly instruction, and a whole host of other materials necessary for their survival in today's climate. Together, our family prays for Owen and we write him letters many times each year to encourage him and to share a bit more about ourselves each time.  When his letters arrive in the mail, we all enjoy reading them aloud every time.  It's been a blessing and a privilege-- not to mention an eye-opening experience-- to share a bit of our abundance with him!

At Christmas time, we also take part in Operation Christmas child, a fabulous project organized by Samaritan's Purse, designed to share God's love-- and gifts!-- with those living in desperate conditions.  Their Gift Catalog offers oodles of gift-giving options, too--anything from a handful of chicks to a dairy goat to a box of Bibles, translated in a foreign tongue-- and each year we enjoy picking out just the right gift to, again, benefit those in need.  

When it's all said and done, Chris and I have one main priority, and that is to raise our children to the love the LORD with every fiber of their being and to nurture in them servant hearts... hearts sold out to Christ and set on glorifying Him in all they say and do.  Part of that mindset requires a passion for the lost and the hurting all over the globe, and what better time to model this world view than now?

"Then the King will say to those on His right,
 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father,
 inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 

I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; 
I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; 
I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
 naked, and you clothed Me;
 I was sick, and you visited Me;
 I was in prison, and you came to Me.'

 "Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'

 "The King will answer and say to them, 

'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'

Matthew 25:34-40


Heidi said...

I'm so glad you've joined me for this series! I've enjoyed each and every one of your thoughtful posts, Heather. Isn't it interesting the things we do in our daily lives without really thinking about it. It's fun to occasionally sit back and make a point to see if we're on track with where our priorities are.

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