Getting Kids Involved in Missions

Acts 1:8 Ye shall be witnesses…unto uttermost part of earth

Mat.28:19,20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations

Some of my favorite verses in the bible talk about going into every nation and sharing the love of God with all you meet. Of course this verse says nothing about involving the children of your church. This is no job for children. Or is it? Why not teach them early about sharing their most precious gift with others?

My family got involved with wrapping shoe boxes with Samaritan’s Purse and their Operation Christmas Child several years ago. Even as young as my children were then they could appreciate the effort we put into blessing others in countries around the world. For many  countries targeted by Operation Christmas Child it would be  the first mention of Jesus. That shows we have either failed to go everywhere in this world or stopped spreading the word in every way possible.

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When our kids began stuffing backpacks to send to Belize I got the idea to include the pictures on notes that said they had assembled the particular package.
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My wife, daughter and another of the kids sorting prior to packing.

First of all we worked with shoe boxes that would be sent to any area of the world. This was a less exact process because we had no idea where the shoe boxes might go The kids were willing to pack whatever was before them so it was up to the adults to put the best things in front of them. That is one of the things about kids, their enthusiasm drives them to complete the process much quicker than adults.

Then a couple of years ago we got a chance to go to Belize and establish a one to one relationship with some missionaries that can better direct our efforts. It is important to me to reduce the distance between our church and the missionaries as much as possible. If they know them by name they are more likely to care about them.

WE were blessed this past summer by a visit from Tim and Carol, not only to our church but to our home where we got to know each other on a more personal level. The connections moved our interaction to another level and will pay great dividends in knowing how to minister to Heart House in the years to come. Already with that possibility in mind I am trying to ge the kids to identify as well.

When I was at Heart House last in December of 2013 I had the HH kids stand in front of a whiteboard with a thanks to the kids at my church for all they had one to stuff back packs in the preceding 3-4 months. I felt like it was a great way to “make it real” to our kids.

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Some of you will remember a fad a couple of years ago called Bandz where kids wove together colored rubber bands to make bracelets. I felt like this would be another way to connect the kids and had 3 or 4 of the kids at my church make about a hundred to take with us to Belize. On the day we gave them out their was a lot of buzz about it. This last picture shows everyone in attendance sporting their friendship bracelets.

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WP_20131211_057 WP_20131211_058As I prepare to take my daughter on her first mission trip to Belize this year I am laying out more plans to connect the kids. I know she will find this experience as rewarding as i do because as my wife says “She has a heart like you do.” We all want our life to matter and serving God while searching for that end is a wonderful adventure.

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