Friday, September 12, 2014

Thursdays at the Giving Tree

Someone recently related a telling statistic to me regarding third culture kids (TCK's--like missionary kids). According to my friend and a study she read, one of the most common traits of missionary kids who succeed is their ability to catch the vision of their parents.
This ricocheted around in my brain as I considered the gap currently left by our homeschooling co-op; several of the students will be attending a local international school this year. The reality is, I wanted to fill that time with some kind of way that my kids could love on people there. Could they have a ministry of their own, and be changed in the process?

But then there's that homeschooling mom reality: I'm the one who drives them to schoolwork, But then there's that homeschooling mom reality: I'm the one who drives them to schoolwork, chores, home responsibilities, music lessons, better behavior. I didn't want to "drive" them to ministry. Plus, I want them to experience more of what ministry ideally is--pouring out from an area of gifting, strength, and passion. I have three boys who I preferred not roll their eyes every week when it was time to go to a local babies' home.
And that's when someone told me about a library where some of our interns volunteer: The Giving Tree. Run by a South Korean missionary who lives on our lane, it's down in a lower-income area that's not far from our house, and offers computer classes, music classes, art classes, a Good News Bible club, and a small room full of children's books. What if my kids, who adored library storytime in the States from the time they were toddlers, could host a storytime for local kids?

So for a little over a month or two, we've trekked down for songs, a story read by each of my oldest kids and translated into Luganda, a simple craft, and playtime. And it's a hit all the way around. I love seeing my kids interact so naturally with children so different from them. And it's great for the village kids to see kids their age read entertaining, vivid stories fluently in English, a second language for the village children, hopefully passing on a love of reading.


And every now and then, we see snippets of why we're here, and how this library is influencing the community--like the little girl singing "You are my All in All" while she colored her picture yesterday. For right now, this is a blessed, exciting fit for all of us. God is doing something great in this community.

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