In just over a week, our Children's Ministry at Grace Church will be launching a 5-week initiative called PROJECT KENYA to raise money for needy families in Africa. If you didn't know already, God has developed a partnership between our church and Koinonia Baptist Church in Central Kenya. In this part of the world, there is a significant opportunity for us to share the wealth that God has given us. Using the currency of chickens, gardens, and goats, PROJECT KENYA will raise funds to purchase these sustainable living items for Kenyan families in need. This will not only provide food for families in need, but the opportunity to sell the produce from these things to bless others as well. Our goal is to raise $4000 in the next 5 weeks! We are excited to have something so practical and reachable for our children to invest in.
But in addition to being a practical way for our children and their families to get involved in what God is doing through our church, I am really excited about the opportunity families will have to experience real heart change. Based on Proverbs 3:9 (which says "Honor the Lord with your wealth"), our primary purpose is to help our children to see how much we have been given, and to teach them that we are called by God to share His resources with others. Common among all children (adults too!) is the struggle to be focused on self and not on others. It is my hope that this 5-week adventure will help our preschool and elementary children see that tendency in themselves and choose to focus on other families that have great need. As parents and children's ministry leaders, I believe that we can never teach enough about being focused on others and not on ourselves.
It is my great hope that this will serve our families at Grace Church with an opportunity to teach children the Biblical principles of God's provision, stewardship, and generosity. More than just another chance to write a check, I hope that moms and dads will seize the opportunity to start discussions around the dinner table and find teachable moments throughout the day.
And when this 5-week adventure comes to an end (and we send a nice check across the sea to help feed needy families in Kenya), my prayer is that a lasting impact has been made on the hearts of our children (and their parents). What would our lives look like if we truly believed that everything is the Lord's and not our own? What would be different if we saw our wealth primarily as a resource to bless others? Imagine if our dinner table conversations were seasoned with questions like "Where did you see Jesus today?", "Who has needs that we can pray for tonight?", and "What are some ways that we can give as a family so that others can be as blessed as we have been?"
Blessing to all of you parents out there who are learning to lead your children to Jesus everyday. Fight the good fight, finish the race, keep the faith! (2 Timothy 4:7)
- Ed Sweeny