by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
I believe every family is unique and you’ll respond to the ideas presented last time in your own ways. Just let me offer a few practical ideas of mine. I hope this will prime the pump of your creative wells and lead you to discoveries that bring the joy that comes from the ‘obedience of faith.’ (Romans 1:5)
- Set aside a place where a focus on refugees and IDP’s can be highlighted. It could be a poster your kids make with pictures/facts – or a time for everyone to watch a brief pitch from an agency at work among these folks…say, Samaritan’s Purse, or the like.
- Really involve your kids in the planning and preparation for this holiday. Beforehand talk about what difference it makes if we are truly people with the attitude of gratitude – all the time, but especially this month. Discuss the menu options and get their ideas on how to more clearly identify with the poor of your neighborhood, of this world. Ask, “Does God ever ask us to give up something without the promise of experiencing His abundance?”
- Encourage everyone, before the meal is served, to make a place card message – one to a card. Supply colorful 3X5 cards with pens, pencils, markers – even stickers for this purpose. Make a couple of samples beforehand to give everyone an idea of what you mean. Something like: Gratitude reflects the light of God’s love back to him, and out to bless others. Before grace is said, let each person share his message – or shuffle the cards and place them around the table randomly for people to read aloud.
- Take time to do a round of thanksgiving before dessert asking each person to complete the sentence, “I wonder what I’d still be grateful for, if I were a refugee.” Or,” I wonder if I might do something like (name the action) to make a difference in some hurting family’s life.”
- Gather people together before the first ones leave, and hold a five-minute debrief session. Invite those who are willing to share, time to make pop-corn admissions (that is, very brief) about what they hope to do for refugees and IDP’s in days to come. Ask someone who is used to praying out loud, or ask for a volunteer to close in prayer.
The King will reply, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (verse 40)
Share with us what you did to make radical changes to Thanksgiving traditions for your family this year. Blessings!