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Friday, 14 October 2011

Stuff Christians Like and Widening Our Children's Horizons

Stuff Christian's Like is one of my favourite blogs, and if you don't follow Jon Acuff on Twitter you should, he's awesome.

He recently posted this video on the SCL website:


Surprise from Patrick Tohill on Vimeo.

I love the innocence in Ellie's question 'That's just pretend though, right Dad?'

How many children around the world have absolutely no concept that there are children around the world suffering that don't know what it's like to eat every day, let alone have three meals a day?

Will struggles with the concept of 'pretend' and still thinks lightening McQueen and Buzz lightyear are real people, so he should relatively easily follow the concept if we showed him a picture of a starving child, but I just never have. It seemed to morbid.

We introduced the idea of orphans when he was very small (under three years old) because we wanted to make sure he wasn't surprised by the idea of us adopting at a later date. He talks about orphans a lot, and often wants to send them clothes and toys, because 'they don't have a mummy and daddy to buy them any'.

I think this year I want to introduce to him the idea that there are people not just missing their mummies and daddies, but physically suffering. How do you do this with three year old? I'm not quite sure, but I know it's something we need to be proactive about. I can't just tell him that there are people suffering, and then leave him to dwell on how terrible it is. I need him to understand that the are people suffering, and here is how we can help them. It's got to be more than just awareness, I want him to understand compassion.

A tall order from a toddler, but unless we model it he will never learn it.

I think I'm going to start with some kind of shoebox appeal. Making up care packages, as a family, to send children is something he can be involved in, and feel like he's making a difference.
Any other ideas, please let me know in the comments section.
Thanks.

2 comments:

Mama of 2 Great Kids said...

Hi KJ. This is something close to my heart... raising my kids to be aware that poverty & suffering are real & to want to do something about it. We've been doing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes since they were born. We started with 4 boxes each year... today, we do an average of 50 boxes each year! Last year, my kids brought OCC to their school & together the school packed over 350 shoeboxes!

Other than that, we sponsor a few children with Compassion International. We write to even more whose sponsors don't or are unable to write. This past summer, our whole family went to visit one of our sponsor children, Florianlyn, in the Philippines. My kids saw first-hand how others live in the third world. Before that, it was just pictures & ideas to them having known only North American living.

Locally, we help out at an organization called UrbanPromise. They reach out to children from under-privileged families in the worst neighbourhoods here in Toronto.

We also help to serve meals to the homeless during the winter months.

Hope these ideas help!

---Aimee (Mama2GreatKids on Twitter)

KJ said...

Thanks Aimee, those suggestions are great!

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