Teaching Children the Joy of Giving

opening the present

Teaching Children the Joy of Giving

The kids were buckled in my minivan and warm heat blew through the heart vents. A cold snap had hit Little Rock, but that hadn’t kept us from venturing out. My three young kids and I had a special mission. We’d just gotten through shopping for our boxes for Operation Christmas Child. Bella, Alyssa, and Casey worked so hard to make careful choices—a mix of fun things like cars and stuffed toys and useful things like pencils and erasers.

As I drove, I glanced in the rearview mirror at their red-cheeked faces, noticing their greatest gift hadn’t gone in the box. Instead, they carried the joy of giving deep in their hearts. It was a gift they received as they gave. And that warmed me even more than the heater vent.

“Mommy, where will our boxes go?” four-year-old Alyssa asked as we drove.

“I don’t know, sweetie. I’m not sure we get to pick. Where would you like them to go?”

“Africa!” she called out, and her brother and sister agreed.

“OK, well, you can pray about that. And maybe they WILL get sent to Africa.”

“No, Mommy!” Alyssa said in dismay. “I don’t want them to send the boxes. I want to get on an airplane and take it myself to the kids that don’t have shoes and toys, just like you did.”


I knew immediately what she was talking about. This summer I was blessed to go to Kenya with AWANA International. I love AWANA. All six of my kids have been in the program. My older kids ages 25, 22, and 20 look back on that time with good memories. And my little ones 7, 4, and 4 are now part. We have a Sparkie and two Cubbies in the house.

I love the Scripture memory and Biblical foundation AWANA lays in children’s hearts, and until I was invited to go to Kenya I had no idea they had AWANA clubs in 108 countries. In fact 2.5 MILLION children take part in AWANA clubs around the world!

In Kenya I loved spending time with the kids and seeing their faces glow as they shared scripture and songs with us. One pastor, and school principal, also asked us to pray for a special request. Would we pray that funds would be provided so they could put in a concrete slab at their school so their children wouldn’t have to work and play in the dirt and mud?

The ministry leaders and I looked at each other. We knew we could do more than pray. We knew we could help BE the answer. And you can be the answer, too!

Click here for information if you’d like to give to our project. Even $5 would be awesome!

Read the read of this post and find out 5 ways your kids can help raise money for others over at ForTheFamily.org!

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  1. It’s so nice that little children around the world can be remembered at Christmas.

  2. Wow, out of the “mouths of babes”..that is so cool that your daughter already has a heart for missions. Also, that is so cool that you have been able to go to Kenya. I really feel there must be a revival happening over there. I keep on getting messages on my blog from Kenya, and their messages are so God inspired, it really commands ones full attention.

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