Tim and I went golfing recently on a course constructed over a landfill. It was an enjoyable experience and less smelly than we originally anticipated. It was an added plus that we both shot a good round. As we talked about this experience with our children, it was not lost on our family that this landfill exemplifies our way of life: we played golf on top of a landfill ,but in other places in the world people live on top of landfills.
This summer our family has been privileged to spend time with Jen Morgan. Jen is a great friend who happens to be in the States this summer resting from a year working in Cambodia with orphans. Our children have a greater sense of what is happening around the world by sharing a relationship with “Miss Jen”. We also have the benefit of knowing several other individuals and families who help people around the globe who live very different lives from ours.
One of the values we work to instill in our children is a value for all people. Engaging with people like Jen gives our children a wider view of the world. We discuss how our lives differ from other groups culturally, spiritually, and economically. We pray, volunteer and study in order to open our hearts and minds to everyone with whom we share this earth.
While we continue to focus our efforts locally as well, we believe that a complete outward view includes how God is moving beyond the borders of the United States; it is important for our kids to comprehend that the “body of Christ” is universal and faith is not just an “American” entity. Hopefully this focus will allow them to respond to the Spirit’s work in their hearts to develop compassion and servanthood.
We have committed to memorizing Micah 6:8 together as one of the Eisel family verses: “The Lord God has told us what is right and what He demands: see that justice is done, let mercy be your first concern and humbly obey your God” (CEV). Together we can choose to focus on helping change the lives of people who live on landfills, not just play golf on them.
Books we like: Raising Unselfish Children in a Self-absorbed World by Jill Rigby and Growing Compassionate Kids by Jan Johnson
Resources used by our family: www.kidsofcourage.com, www.twr.org, and www.kidsglobaloutreach.org