I haven’t talked to one of my 5 children since mid January. She left for South Africa to volunteer in an orphanage on Jan. 13. She did call us a couple days after she arrived and we have been emailing almost every other day. But I am so excited to be able to talk to her again! I’m thinking of all the things to talk about and I know we won’t be able to cover everything. She has managed to email us regularly and we have emailed back as well, much more often than we thought we would be able to do.
Being in a new and different country grows a person in many ways. Learning about a new culture can be exciting, hard, confusing, interesting, and challenging. Getting along with one’s fellow volunteers affords constant opportunities to grow spiritually. Let’s face it, people are sinful and learning to get along can be a joyful challenge. We need to try to be humble as Jesus was humble. We need to listen to other people’s ideas and not just want our own way. I see much growth in my daughter as I read her emails and see her pictures. I will let all of you know how the phone call goes. God’s riches blessings on each of you.
We are anticipating a challenging time at our church’s missions fest this weekend. There will be speakers from out of town coming to talk about how God is working in different parts of the world. One will speak about the spread of the Gospel in France; another will talk about local churches sending teams of people out to different parts of the world. We will have times of worship together, and times of prayer together.
This is a time for the whole family to come out and sing, pray, learn, and grow together. We are to go into all the world and make disciples, teaching them to do what Jesus taught us. There will be a book table, too. If you know of any books about missions to add to the book table, let us know!
I was checking some of my favorite sites and came across this entry from Amy Scott’s blog. She writes about reading the Bible to one’s children and the importance of that. She also included some catechism questions and answers pertaining to sin, yes, that’s right, SIN. So many people are afraid to mention that word. Kudos to Amy for including this material on her site called http://www.humblemusings.com
I have thoroughly enjoyed going through the Children’s Catechism with each of my 5 children. Right now, with my 12 yr. old we are up to the questions re: the 10 Commandments. I think learning the catechism gives a good theological foundation for children; I learn alot, too, as I go through the questions and answers. This is in addition to reading and studying the Bible together alone and as a family.
Truly, God is merciful to send His only begotten Son, Jesus, to die on the cross to take the punishment that His people deserved. “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be washed white as snow.”
Time marches on. Our children grow up. What do we raise our children for? How do we raise them? We raise them for the glory of the Almighty Lord; He is the One who gave each of our children to us.
So it doesn’t surprise me that one of my children is off on a 6 month missions trip to help at an orphanage in South Africa. Each of my older 4 children has gone on at least one short term missions trip. Places of service have been: Tanzania, Uganda, Mexico, Louisiana (after Hurricane Katrina), the inner city of Chatanooga, and even in our hometown. These opportunities have heightened their awareness of the needs in the world and that the world is much bigger than where we live, go to school, worship, etc.
Going away for 6 months is a very big commitment for a 19 year old. But, it was laid on her heart to get out of her comfort zone and serve the Lord some where for a longer time period. So, she is at TLC near Johannesburg. This ministry seeks to take care of abandoned babies and toddlers. This is putting James 1:27 into action which speaks on pure and undefiled religion is to take care of widows and orphans.
As we train our children to love Jesus and live for Him, as we model His love to others, as we worship and serve in our local churches, we should not be surprised or saddened or ? when our child makes a decision to take a step of faith and put his faith in action. May we be rejoicing, encouraging, and supportive.