Love in Action

A number of years ago at Kidz Church we led the children through a series called ‘Step Into My Shoes’. Through video clips and discussions, our children in Australia were able to see what life was like for a family living in Uganda. We saw where the family lived, how they collected and prepared food and water, what their church was like, and what they did for fun.

This term we will again ask our children to step into the shoes of another, this time a family living in the Philippines. Through the videos and simulation games and activities we hope to spark lots of conversations around questions such as ‘Do you ever worry that your water will make you sick?’ ‘If you had to spend time every day collecting water, what might you have to give up doing during that time?’ ‘How would you do your homework if you had no electricity?’

We will lead the children through simulation activities where some will experience unfair consequences based simply on the colour of their shirt, or the location of the seat they are sitting on, or because they do not know the rules of the game. These scenarios will prompt discussions around the injustices facing many children in the world, through no fault of their own.

We want to open our children’s eyes to the plight of children living in extreme poverty, so that their hearts may be stirred with compassion. But more than that, we want to impress upon them the great love God has for all children. And we want to empower our children to take action, to respond and bring change for children around the world.

A key Scripture for this series will be 1 John 3:16-18: “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up His life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion – how can God’s love be in that person? Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other, let us show the truth by our actions.”

This is why I appreciate Operation Christmas Child. Because it gives our kids the opportunity to do just that — to show practical, real, life-changing love to others. Along with the ‘Step Into My Shoes’ content, our children will be spending time preparing and making items for the shoeboxes throughout this term. Sunday 12th of September will be our OCC shoebox packing morning. Donations for the shoeboxes are most welcome. For all the OCC shoebox appeal details, check out the article in The Quarterly.

It’s our prayer that through the ‘Step Into My Shoes’ series and involvement in Operation Christmas Child, our children’s hearts will be stirred and filled with great compassion and love for others, and that their desire to share the good news of God’s love with others would grow.