It’s easy to think of waging peace and loving across enemy lines as something that happens over there. And while we do work in places that are hard to reach, the beautiful part of this peacemaking community that you’re part of is that you can also do this work wherever you are.
So let me suggest one practical way that you can remake a piece your world with us today.
Our world needs more peacemakers who are willing to love anyway. And one way to create more people like that is by planting the seeds of peacemaking, generosity, and empathy in the mind of a child.
It doesn’t have to be your kid; it could be a niece, nephew, friend, etc. Any child in your life that you’re close to and want to invest in.
Here’s an easy first step:
Explain what it is and read Jessica’s introductory letter about hope, possibility and peace on earth. Be inspired together by what you can do with what you’ve been given.
Show the kids pictures and tell them the stories from the catalog. Read to them about people like Waleed, the 8 year old shepherd boy who fled ISIS and now cares for his family’s sheep outside their refugee camp. Let them stare into his happy face as he holds his favorite lamb. Help him come alive in their imagination until he is more than a picture in a catalog.
Because he is more than that. He’s a real kid, just like them—with a sense of humor, siblings who are simultaneously his best friends and mortal enemies, and those new front teeth that look just like my 8-year-old daughter’s.
Then let the kids choose a gift with you. Set a price limit if you need to, but let them choose what your gift goes toward.
In this one gesture, you’ll teach and empower them to show up in the midst of suffering and injustice. You will model what it means to love anyway...even when there’s financial uncertainty or anxiety about an expensive upcoming holiday.
You’ll teach them that the best part about having resources that you can give them away. You’ll show them the best work our money can do is help people who are really in need.
And in that moment, you will create a new generation of peacemakers. You will remake a piece of your world by shaping the worldview of a child—into one of generosity, compassion and empathy.
Today you have an opportunity to create the kind of people our world needs most.
These are lessons kids take with them all through life. They may not know how to express it, so don’t be discouraged if you feel like you didn’t get through to them. Whether they can communicate it yet or not, these ideas and practices will sink in and impact the way they see others. It will impact how they process overheard political conversations and how they relate to money.
We are so grateful for you and your continued support in the midst of difficult circumstances. Thank you for showing up with us over and over and over again. Today, I challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and into intentionality.
By bringing children into your giving practices, you can wage peace at home—while showing up with us in Iraq at the very same time.
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