Wednesday, June 18, 2008

How do you explain extreme poverty to your kids?

My husband and I wanted to make sure that our children understood that sometimes people struggle and that God sends each one of us to make a difference in that person's life. Our family volunteered at Metropolitan Ministries, we shopped as a family for families at Christmas who needed help, we traveled as a family to Honduras and worked at a school there and helped build a church. We have every year rang Salvation Army bells at Christmas. We traveled to Pearlington, Mississippi and New Orleans to help rebuild homes after the flood damage. We work with Habitat for Humanity as a family. Our children grew up feeling that helping out was a response of our faith. There is poverty everywhere if you have eyes to see it and talk about it. We discuss as a family...What we could do about it...Can we make a difference?
We feel God has called us to help those who have less than we do and our children have grown up knowing the joy of letting God use them. It is important that your children grow up thinking that with God's help they can make a difference in another person's life.


LoLo said...

I think this is so important that your kids understand what poverty is and that they are able to help. I have always enjoyed volunteering because I feel like in a small way I help those who are less fortuante than I am and that maybe that makes their life better.

Rob Baer said...

I think you're right. It seems like such a huge responsibilty, but we should strive to look at it as a privelage to teach that message to them.

rmbgrafton said...

You and Dad have done an extraordinary job of teaching us the value of giving as the central part of our faith. I’ve come to know that by our service we are practicing the Word of God and ultimately sharing our faith with the community...

Love ya Mom!

rmbgrafton said...

goodness Rob, you misspelled privilege...but I agree. It shouldn't be looked at as a task or duty, but as an honor that we are opening so many hearts to the Perfect Love!

Ronda's Rants said...

Perfect love casts out spelling corrections!

Rachel said...

Since becoming a parent, I have learned that there is so much more to teach my kids about than I could have ever imagined. This topic is so important and I think you have done a wonderful job teaching your kids about this. Rob and I can only hope to do as good of a job as you and Bob did. I am thankful that my parents also did this with my brother and myself. I remember vividly growing up going on mission trips and serving Christmas dinner at Metropolitan Ministries. Those were some of the best times of my life!

Karyn said...

Ronda, you always make me want to be a better person. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in the kid’s manners, extra-curricular activities and just getting them to church on Sunday that I forget to teach them about the world.
Our church supports a village in the Dominican Republic and we learned yesterday the kids there play baseball with bottle caps and sticks.
The environment is a hot topic now, so they know about recycling, and conserving gas and water, but I need to make them more aware of world wide poverty.
St Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) said:
As missionaries of the Gospel, let us remember, Christ has no body now on earth but yours;
Yours are the only hands with which he can do his work.
Yours are the only feet with which he can go about the world.
Yours are the only eyes through which his compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world.
Christ has no body on earth now but yours.
Thank you Ronda for the great reminder! xo

Ronda's Rants said...

Karyn, you already are a "better" person. You work out your faith daily. All those things you do with your children are important but more importantly they see you working out your faith daily!