You may have heard youth and children referred to “the church of tomorrow”. Personally I think there’s a grave error in this thinking. Our children should be part of the “church of right now”. I’m blessed to serve in a church that feels this way too. I’m always looking for ways to make the ministry of Compassion real and relevant to my children and the children of my church.
I was to speak at a conference in March and as part of my topic I was going to share my Compassion story. I had sent for 15 child sponsorship packets to take with me to the conference. A week prior to the conference I took a notecard and wrote each child’s name and country on the cards and passed them out to trusted friends and prayer partners who I knew would pray specifically for each child to be sponsored. One of my friends has twin 7 year old girls, Chloe & Jasmine. I asked the girls if they would like to pray for a child and they each selected a girl to pray for…Angelica & Alexandra. The twins mother said that they prayed every evening for the week leading up to the conference, and that their prayers became more specific as the week went along. That God would provide the sponsor, that He would keep them safe, and give them food.
I spoke 3 times during the conference and during the course of the weekend God provided sponsors for every single child that I had a packet for….with some more being sponsored online. Later in the day after my 1st session I was thinking back over how many packets had been taken and which ones when it hit me. I was sitting next to the twins mother. I looked at her and said, “You know the kids that your girls had prayed for, Angelica & Alexandra…..the were the FIRST packets taken for sponsorship!”
They prayers of children are powerful. The ministry of children….unstoppable!
In our home, child sponsorship is a family ministry. Rachel, my daughter, frequently draws pictures to send with our letters. Our 2 sponsored children share their birthdays with each of our kids. On our kids’ birthdays after we have sang “Happy Birthday” and blown out candles we relight them. We take a family photo with the cake and that child’s photo and then send it in the next letter. Then we sing another round of “Happy Birthday” just for our sponsored child. It’s a way to show them that we were thinking about them especially on their birthday.
My friend Heather helped to make sponsorship more real to her kids by preparing a special dinner one evening of foods from their child’s country. They had written to Emmanuel and asked him what he liked to eat. Heather then looked up the foods on the internet and prepared a special Ghanaian meal.
Now I know from this photo it seems that one of the boys was less than thrilled, but that wasn’t the case. Heather said that all 3 of her boys ate the food and there wasn’t any complaining. What a wonderful way to bring our kids and our sponsored kids one step closer.
There are a lot of ways to involve our kids. The Family of God serving is a wonderful thing. The family serving God together is truly beautiful.