by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
Nine year old Taylor DeVos, almost by accident, watched a World Vision TV documentary one afternoon. She was captivated by the presentation. How needy many of the world’s children are! Inspired to challenge the girlfriends she invited to her birthday party for help, she put together enough funds to adopt a child through World Vision’s program. That child was a little girl in Haiti with whom Taylor developed a growing relationship – a strong bond.
But it didn’t stop there! With the help of adults in her life, Taylor went on to partner with World Vision and raise enough money to build two schools in Haiti, a country still reeling from the 2010 earthquake that leveled so much of its infrastructure. Taylor has moved on now to a focus on Africa with special emphasis on getting more girls into school. You can find out about this at Taylor’s website.
Taylor’s actions demonstrate that kids can make a difference. Of course, she didn’t do it without a lot of help from adults in her life. I wonder, however, if those adults would have been motivated if it hadn’t been for Taylor’s passion and vision.
So the question comes: how is it that one child can achieve so much at such a young age? Is there something in her genetic makeup that creates a “compassion prodigy?” For instance, some kids show great promise early on in math, or music, or sports. Maybe some are born uniquely equipped to move human endeavor to accomplish grand ‘good deeds’ on behalf of needy people. Or rather are we all born to reflect God’s character – our Creator who is compassionate? And most of us just need a little push to make this happen.
We can all pray for God’s wisdom as we seek to encourage the children around us to care deeply about others. Maybe it’s easier to get our kids to say please and thank you, to buckle up in the car, to brush their teeth regularly – habits like that. It’s probably a bit more complicated to help them grow out of their natural, understandable self-absorption and seek out an opportunity to make a difference, in Jesus’ Name, in the life of another person.
But we can do it. And it may make all the difference in the world when we do.
Remember, O Lord, your unfailing love and compassion, which you have shown from long ages past. Psalm 25:6