by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
…every way you look at it! If you’ve been an advocate of KidZ at Heart for long, you’ve caught our underlying passion. Because kids can make a difference in their world and in God’s Kingdom expansion on earth, we put a lot of emphasis and energy into equipping adults, locally and internationally, church and family, to further this along – to reach and teach as many of the world’s 2.3 billion kids for Christ as possible. The journey is exciting, challenging and rewarding.
A KidZ strategy that’s a favorite of mine is the emphasis on creating home environments where believing families intentionally build God’s character into their kids. These parents believe that they can experience the very presence of Jesus in their everyday lives. One way they do this is to focus on who God is and what God does as they work and play together. (Psalm 145:3-7)
Another way is to create team cohesiveness and team spirit. Moms and dads build the idea in their families’ lives that they are mini-expressions of the Church, much the way we see this played out in the book of Acts. These ‘mini-churches’ are planted into neighborhoods to be the ‘salt and light’ that Jesus spoke about in Matthew, chapter five. And, kids play an important role in making this happen.
Recently, I read something in a magazine article that illustrates this, titled (Don’t) Waste Paper. It is about the Bora family in Assam, India. Their paper-making company is called Elrhina. They create their product from the waste droppings of rhinos and Asian elephants, weeds and plant waste, thus reducing the negative impact on the environment. No trees—no toxic chemicals are used to make this unique paper.
“The Bora family (mom, dad, three sons and a daughter) saw a need and came up with a creative way to meet it. Not only are they providing a resource – paper –they are creating jobs and helping protect God’s creation.”
The article ends with, “Remember that you can make a difference – right where you are, right now…and when you trust God, He can lead you into some pretty interesting situations – and jobs! You were born to make a difference. You have the energy and the strength to look challenges in the eye and not blink. Go for it.”
Our families don’t look anything like the Boras in Assam, but God can do for us what he did for them. He can knit us together with a common purpose and one voice. Here are just a few ideas:
- Sporting events are big around our house. The kids compete on different teams and we make it a point to attend their games. We realize that demonstrating good sportsmanship is one way to witness to our love for Jesus. We pray together for openings to speak to others about our faith in him. Our family, including kids, even supports a mission that takes teams of Christians to play internationally. Go Team!
- Recycling is important to everyone in our family. Not only from the cash we earn but from ‘recycling’ that cash to our adopted child in Honduras for whom we pray regularly in our family worship times. We’re careful to turn off electricity when not in use and conserve water to protect our environment. Go team!
- We live in a community in a mild winter climate inviting many homeless individuals and families. We participate in our church’s ministry to a homeless shelter in our city. We prepare paper lunch bags with nutritious, non-perishable food items and keep them handy in the car to give out when there’s opportunity. We remember that Jesus was once homeless and we pray together for those who share his plight. Go team!
- We are close to a child who is fighting a life-threatening illness. We make craft items and crochet knit caps, contribute to Ronald McDonald houses and camps as we pray for our relative or friend. When it’s possible we visit the child during hospital stays and offer assistance to his parents with gas money for their many trips. As a family we pray for God’s healing touch and use creative ways to show the child and his family that we care. Go team!
- We garden and share the harvest with others. We volunteer to tidy up someone’s overgrown yard in the neighborhood. We offer to clean outside windows for shut-ins or widows. Go team!
- Our family together serves in church ministries. We volunteer at Habitat for Humanity or participate in a family, short term mission trip. Befriend lonely seniors, especially those without families of their own. There is no end to ideas!
Whatever God puts on our hearts, we can explore ways to serve Jesus and enjoy the privilege of being Jesus’ hands and feet – our actions speaking even louder than our words to point others to his saving grace. As Nisha Bora in Assam, India, says, “It’s so rewarding to look beyond yourself and at the larger good.” …and do it together. Go team!
The Bora family story came from the February issue of SHINE Brightly!