One of the things I've really appreciated about our studies with Children Around The World this year is the fact that the plight of children far less fortunate than my own have been brought to light. It's been equally balanced out which children who may live similar lives, but always with the foreshadowing that there are those in the world who have less. Those that go without, those who could use our help.
As children it can be hard to consider that there are others out there who need help & wonder what you can do for them. So it's lovely to see the various prayer charts in the Prayer & Investment Journal. We've printed out a copy which I keep in my planner to remind us if what we're praying for children around the world on a given day of the month. Prayer is something even the smallest of children can do for others.
The particular chart above is just a basic prayer chart for children around the world. There's another one for children who are living in war torn countries with requests specific to things children might need or suffer through. Of course while we are praying for the children around the world it's fair to say that the adults of the world could use the same prayers as well.
The Journal also has many websites & charity ideas a child could participate in to offer help via funds or clothing to be sent to children around the world. I'm going to be honest & say we haven't focused deeply on those because when we come to the end of our studies I'd like the boys to pick just one of those foundations to give to in order to help a child somewhere.
There's also things like Operation Shoebox that offer them the chance to help a child somewhere around the world, or even many children depending on how many boxes one chooses to fill & if one can locate a donation drop off centre in their area. A local video shop also, annually, runs a canned food drive. Bring in a tin of food get a free film. We often take in several tins of food, & they always try to offer us excess films in which we decline. It's not that we wouldn't watch the films if we had them, but I think it's equally important for us to remember we help because we want to & because it's the right thing to do, not because we get something other then the sense of a job well done.
My children were recently able to see this sort of thing in action when, in town last week, we ran into a women trying to order some food a local sandwich shop. The clerk kept shouting at customer that she couldn't hear her. The women kept repeating herself in her very quiet voice & then gesticulating at what she wanted. I was appalled that the clerk didn't come out from behind the counter to ask the women what she wanted & instead walked over to ask if I could help. Thus, taking the customers order & relaying it to the clerk. The boys wanted to know if the elderly women was one of my friends, or maybe Nana's, but I told them I had no idea who she was other then someone desperate to order food.
It also lends itself greatly when my child screams, "It's so unfair! My life is so hard!" Yep, I've heard that cry before, all though not in a few weeks. In fact when it was last heard we sat down & I asked my child if he had a clean bed, water, clothes, medicine, food, etc. The mere access to those, in the excess he has, means that his life is far from hard. We reminded him of some of the families we've read about in Material World, in particular a family who's home is full of bullet holes. The photo of a women who rejoiced upon crossing a street without getting shot. The children all sleeping in one bed. The women who walked 3 nights to get to a feeding station in Africa. Suddenly his inability to have an extra turn on an electronically device seemed null & void in the grand scheme of things.
It helps put things in perspective. It helps remind us that stressing over when we can return library books, what day we'll go grocery shopping, or if the carpets are vacuumed are considered a great luxury by some people in the world. Which reminds us of just how blessed we truly are.