by Belinda Smith
Just recently I heard one of our junior high boys say he wanted to make a difference in the world but he felt he wasn’t old enough to really do anything yet. We want our youth to understand that they can play a vital role in advancing the kingdom NOW. Everyone can do something right where they are, no matter their age. Three ways we are focusing on: PRAY, GIVE and GO. We can always pray, often give, and sometimes
we are even called to go. We created a visual on the wall so we can see how
Show-Me Christian School has reached out and made an impact on their family/school, community, country, and world throughout the school year: coloring on a gift sack used to encourage someone; baking cookies or raking leaves for a neighbor in the community; volunteering to help with Special Olympics or another event; giving money to help build an orphanage for those rescued from human trafficking; praying for churches, missionaries and organizations, spending a week in El Paso, Texas; or maybe even taking a trip out of the country….everyone can do something.
At the beginning of the year, the kids were asked a question: “How do you see God using you in the future to advance the kingdom?” My husband starting asking young people this when talking about the future, for the purpose of prioritizing God’s plan over our own. Also on the wall are pictures of each of our world changers next to how they want God to use them… future web designer, chef, actor, police officer, missionary, pilot, physical therapist, dog trainer, nurse,athlete, etc. Spreading the Word of God is not just for preachers and missionaries. We are all commanded to spread the Good News.
We greatly appreciate God’s provisions through our Show-Me friends that love and support us. At the same time, we don’t want our kids to ever feel entitled. It is our desire to teach our youth how to give back or pay it forward. We want them to be “others minded.” The best way to feel better is to do something nice for someone else. This has shown to be true with our students through the following comments after serving others in El Paso, TX, during our Fall break:
“I liked seeing how happy everyone was with the work we did on the church.”
– Ethan, 7th grade
“Something I’ll always remember is the overwhelming gratitude [of those we served]”
– Emily, 12th grade
“My favorite part was seeing the joy and excitement on the faces of the kids.”
– Josie, 10th grade
“Hanging out with all the kids and being a part of the VBS was my favorite.”
– Deonsay, 9th grade
When we serve others, we are both the giver and the receiver of the blessing. Service is rewarding and humbling. Our desire is to continue planning trips and projects that will give our youth experiences and perspective while reaching out to those in need but also to keep our eyes open to simply fill a need when we see it. We are raising world- changers who aren’t waiting for the future to make a difference. They are making a difference now!