Last week I had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with the Compass Point Kids at their Quest Camp. My son Kyle is one of the coordinators and he asked me to come share with the kids about WOW and the work we are involved in overseas. They had been learning about loving God and loving their families. On the third day it was about loving others. I wanted the kids to understand that children have an important role to play in our world. They can truly make a difference. 1 Timothy 4:12 says “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” God is clear that youth are gifted with a specific purpose in His kingdom here on earth. I wanted to encourage the kids at Compass Point with this truth. We started by looking at scripture to what God says about caring for the orphan and widow. “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” (James 1:27)
After we explored scriptural truths about God’s mandate to care for the vulnerable I wanted them to experience ‘A Day in the Life of an Orphan’. Empathy is a powerful motivator, and by walking through a day of an orphaned or vulnerable child in sub-Saharan Africa I hoped to sew seeds of compassion for the reality of many peoples life circumstances in this area of the world. Through the day we compared how children live in North America to how they live in Africa. None of the Compass Point kids sleep one the ground, and were surprised to hear that many children in Africa do. They all laid down on the hard floor to “sleep”. When “morning” came I asked them what their usual routine is at home. There was a resounding “eat breakfast!” from the group. Unfortunately, there was no food and instead they had to walk to get water before school. We grabbed our buckets and headed off in search of water. The kids did not mind the walk when the buckets were empty but once full their moods changed. In fact, many of them tried to pass off their buckets to leaders. When they arrived home with the water it was time to head to school. At school we worshipped God singing an African song. The kids loved it! They also received good news that someone had donated money for food! There were 8kg bags of rice for each child to carry home. A blessing, yet a difficult task for any child. The CPKids were up for the challenge! Some of them had difficulty and their bags fell, spilling rice all over the ground. To them, this was no major loss but to a child in Africa this would be heart-breaking. They would stop to pick up every spilt kernel before making the rest of the journey home. I could see the wheels turning in each child’s mind as the differences between their lives and the lives of thousands of children in Africa became very apparent to them.
We ended our afternoon with a WOW Patch Party. The CP Kidz decorated patches which are sent to Zambia for widows to sew together and make quilts for children in their communities. What a great afternoon. I could see the kids were not only intrigued but impacted by the life of a child in Africa. I heard one girl say to her mom as she left ‘ Mom, they gave us a challenge. I have to figure out how I can show God’s love to a child in Africa.’ My heart rejoiced, a seed has been planted.
Written By: Susan Reynolds