God's love for the whole world is at the heart of Sonlight. The picture of Revelation 7:9 regarding people from every tongue, tribe and nation, worshipping the Lamb of God is one of the most beautiful I can imagine.
What are practical ways we can give our kids a heart for the world?
1. Read Around the World Together
We can give them insight into different worldviews through literature. We can help them empathize with people who are different than they are through the stories they read.
A great way to do this is to read books that take place in different countries. Here’s a quick list of how these types of books helps us expand our children's world with some of my favorite titles from our History/Bible/Literature programs:
- See the Bible with fresh eyes—In Search of the Source
- Understand culture—Little Pear, Master Puppeteer
- Grasp non-Christian beliefs—Daughter of the Mountains, Shadow Spinner
- Gain understanding of cultural differences—Red Sand, Blue Sky; Seven Daughters and Seven Sons
- Understand the “isms”—Year of Impossible Goodbyes, Breaking Stalin’s Nose
2. Give Them Godly Heroes Through Missionary Stories
Through these biographies we find reminders that God uses ordinary people to …
- Transform cultures—There’s a Sheep in my Bathtub, Bruchko, Peace Child, Mary Slessor
- Be a witness—God’s Adventurer, Mission to Cathay
- Galvanize His body—God’s Smuggler
- Demonstrate that the victorious Christian life isn’t always easy—Adoniram Judson, Gladys Aylward
3. Pray Strategically Together
We pray every morning at Sonlight for our customers, employees, and different people groups around the world. We also include prayer guides in most programs for families to use together. Praying together with our kids is a powerful way to grow our awareness of God's work around the world and to instill compassion for people.
And those prayers are effective! The prayer guide we carried for HBL B featured Bibleless people from A-Z. That book went out of print as the powerful prayers of many people, including thousands of Sonlight students, helped all of those people groups get Scripture in their native languages. Praise God! We now carry a new guide with 26 more groups—Around the World with Kate and Mack, and I cannot wait to see what the Lord will do.
4. Serve and Give Together
A service project or taking part in a charitable drive can unify our families and help put knowledge into action. From a missions trip overseas to a local service day, the key is to involve our children.
Most of us are charitable people; we give to our church and mission agencies. But often our children are not involved in those monetary donations. Our children rarely have a chance to personally invest in the great works of God.
If you can find a program where your children can pray and come up with creative ways of generating cash to give, you have a unique opportunity to impact their hearts. Scripture says, “Where your money is, there your heart is as well.”(Matthew 6:21)
And it is also important to train our children to plan and be strategic in their giving. Rather than merely giving a small amount when specific needs arise, we can help our children choose a project, plan to give, and work to fulfill their commitment. These are all skills that will help them remain generous givers as they grow.
Right now, Sonlight is offering families an exciting learning and giving project called WorldViews. Take advantage of this free, interactive curriculum for families and learn about different people groups, worldviews, and how you can serve and give strategically.
We want to equip students to use their time, money, intellect, and passion to serve others in strategic ways. When we translate knowledge into action, we take a step of faith; our hearts are impacted as we give.