I have a news app on my phone that alerted me of the earthquake in Nepal the morning it occurred. Not long after this notification, I received an email in my inbox from Samaritan’s Purse saying they already had workers in Nepal assessing the damage, and they were sending out a team to help with emergency shelter, water, hygiene kits, and other relief. I was amazed at how quickly they responded to this tragedy. I then asked myself why I don’t respond as quickly. Not so much a response to act, necessarily. But, even to just pray. It often takes me awhile to process these things before my heart feels what is happening and then I respond.
If my response is so slow, how can I teach my children to respond to things around the world? Not just simply responding physically to the tragedy, but being Gospel centered and driven to bring the message of hope?
I think a place that we can all start with our kids is here…at home. I cannot help my kids be missions minded abroad if I am not helping them be mission minded where we live: in the schools they attend, the neighborhood we live in, the lives of our friends and family. But, how do we start?
Several months ago, we had someone from our family visiting us for a few days from out of town. My son, Kai, had a song playing on repeat in his mind and heart since we sang it at church on Easter: Christ is Risen. During breakfast one day while our family member was here, Kai started singing that song. “Oh, church come stand in the life (light). God, He’s not dead, He’s alive, HE’S ALLLIIIIVEEE!!” He squeals that last “He’s alive.” Then, his sister joined and sang other portions of this song. Over and over throughout this day, Kai continued to sing this song until he obviously was getting a bit under our guest’s skin. At one point, our guest just said, “Ok, we get it. He’s alive.” As I was watching this whole thing unfold, I was so encouraged. I was encouraged, because my kids are learning to be missions minded, just simply by being who they are with whoever they are with. We sing Gospel centered songs. They sometimes like to be goofy with those songs. But, even in that, they planted a truth into a soul’s heart that Jesus is alive.
We can all tend to complicate this training of our children into Gospel driven people. The task seems daunting sometimes. I’m learning that I just need to take baby steps! They may not fly out to aid in the next overseas tragedy this year, but as I invest into them through daily devotions, reading truth, proclaiming truth, singing truth, they will become missions minded. Lord-willing, this will carry on with them as they grow, and I pray God will use them to make an impact in their families, neighborhoods, friendships, schools…wherever God will lead them.