by Nancy Tichy, Author for KidZ at Heart International
For as long as Julia can remember, she has celebrated her birthday with an all-girls’ sleep-over. This May was no different. A handful of friends, all nearly teenagers, came to her home for a variety of fun activities that kept most of them going all night. Well, nearly all night.
This year, the guests posed for a Facebook portrait with red noses provided by a local pharmacy to remember that not all children celebrate birthdays with parties and presents. Millions of kids, worldwide, probably never have a proper celebration of their birth. This purely secular focus benefits those for whom life is a grim reality of what it means to be poor.
There’s no way to know what seeds of compassion something like this might plant in young lives. I truly hope that even brief pauses from time to time in our affluent children’s search for significance can help grow sturdy intentions to make a difference in the lives of children they will not meet this side of Heaven.
To change the analogy, it’s a little like adding flavor to the stew. It takes a very small amount of seasoning to make a big difference. A word here, a visual there – we can season ordinary life with appetizing reminders that God’s love is constantly bubbling up all around the world. A dash of gratitude, a pinch of hope, a strong shakerful of faith, and the meal becomes more interesting, the life portion more nourishing.
But, there are times when faith, hope and love might become the main entree in a family-life’s diet. That’s when you deliberately take a significant portion of your time to intercede for children whose lives are troubled, even tragic. Information abounds online, and you can enlist your kids to find what they want to focus on and how they best process information. And, by now, you probably have found the best practices for you and your family to access God’s presence and intercede on behalf of children at risk, worldwide.
One resource for this is Viva. This website provides strategies for accessing information and suggestions for serving up banquet-sized family experiences. Do it this weekend and you’ll join with thousands of kids and adults all over the world. Make the first weekend in June an annual observance – an all-family celebration – a serious time to honor God and extend prayer-portions of faith, hope, and love to nourish children around the world.
World Weekend of Prayer for Children at Risk
June 4-5, 2016