Dec 18, 2008

A Shepherd's Pouch

It's hard to teach our kids about giving, when at the same time, we're asking them what they want for Christmas. We're bombarded with the "latest and greatest toy" commercials, wants and wish lists. I want to learn to be a better giver myself. I've had my wish lists written right along with the kids...not that there's anything wrong with that. I don't think any of us enjoy shopping aimlessly around the stores. I just don't want it to be the main focus, constantly turning over and over again in the kid's thoughts. A few years ago, Dad and Mom introduced the "Samaritan's Purse" to all the grandchildren. They asked the kids if they would be willing to give up some presents that they would receive from their grandparents so that other children in need could have something. It was a resounding "YES!" from all of them. It was so cute to see them all crowded around Grampy's computer with excitement, watching a video of these precious little ones receiving "their gift." It brought tears to my eyes as you heard each volunteer hand a gift to a child and say, "Jesus loves you." That ministry really opened up our kid's minds to other children in need. Recently, I read about something called, "The Shepherd's Pouch." The idea is that each child earns their own money and stores it in their own pouch. When they've met their giving goal, they bring it to us and ask us to give it to a charity of their choice. It helps them to be in tune with other people's needs around them, and hopefully it will cause them to look for opportunities to help.

Mary sewed her own little pouch.

Our prayer is that these little ideas will help cultivate a spirit of giving, and grow with them into adulthood. It has been neat to see the kid's excitement about it, and really precious to talk with them about their ideas. (oh, and it's always nice to have the extra help around the house, too. :o)


Krissy said...

Yes. It's a heavy and uncomfortable topic. . . but one that we have to entertain if we want to be like Christ. Don't know what it's like to be a parent, but I do worry about how my inner city kids live, how many hurting children there are in the world, the desperation parents must feel about simply putting food on the table, the guilt they entertain over not being able to buy nice things for their children. . . it brings tears to my eyes. I am so glad you are teaching your children compassion and empathy. It's a great lesson for all of us.
And no, I'm not vacuuming your kitchen for a quarter when I come home. You're gonna have to shell out the larger bills for me. ;)

Trish said...

LOL--Krissy! :)

Seriously, really great idea Beck--a great tangible way to teach the kids with a visual example. That's one of the most important lesson we can teach our kids! The real blessings come when after you teach them--you see them do it all on their own. "No greater joy than to hear my children walk in truth."

Alyssa said...

That is a great thing! I haven't heard of that yet. We are trying to do the same thing with Kendra this year now that she understands. She got 3 bags of toys together for a little girl this year. We were glad she did it with a willing and excited heart:)! Oh, Lord, give our kids giving hearts, and help us to be the best example for them!!!
Have a wonderful Christmas, Becky!

DeAnna said...

This is such a great idea, I'm definitely going to start this with my girls. We do Samaritan's purse with the girls, but the other forms of giving have been more for us not them. With the teen group we gave toys to a boys shelter (but not really something the girls participated in), Kenny helped wrap a HUGE amount of presents for Miracle Hill children's home (about 15 kids and the lady had raised enough to spend $200-250 on each kid, so lots of toys and such an amazing blessing) but again not something the girls are seeing for themselves yet.....(no, I didn't take them to see THAT many toys getting wrapped and put under a tree :) I wish I would have done something like this earlier with them. Its such a good idea. I want my girls to get presents at Christmas and I'm so excited about giving them gifts, but like you said I want them to truly learn about giving. And by having to work for money to give... how great you're teaching them sacrificial giving as well, not just lets use mommy and daddy's money to go buy toys for kids. :) I'll have to call you and get some ideas. And just to bring tears to your eyes even more Krissy, Kenny told me this morning that the lady at Miracle Hill was going to buy gifts for 3 more kids, a 2 year old, a 3 year old and a 15 year old who just came to the home. How sad to think of these kids and what they must be going through.

DeAnna said...

Oh yeah, and on a less serious note, I'm with you Krissy -- the larger bills for me too. What's with the quarters for such hard work?!? :)

Mama said...

We can't make a huge difference...but we can make a difference. One thoughtful gesture to someone in need gives them hope, and encourages us to continue helping others.

I know every one of you remembers "The Secret Drop" It perpetuated a "heart" in us we'll never forget. It's evidence is here. I love you girls more than I can express!

Truly," I have no greater joy" when I read this blog today.