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I’m always on the look-out for great Christ centered reads to crack open with the kids. Books that are not too far over their heads, is Bible based/theologically sound, and appealing to kids…obviously 😉 After reading the books “Interrupted” and “The Hole in Our Gospel” my heart was stirred to find more ways our family could become not only more aware of the needs of others (especially globally), but how we could become a more mission-minded family. Unfortunately, there just isn’t much out their in the way of children’s literature that talks about poverty, different people groups needing Jesus, and what our role as Christ followers is and should be. And I understand, those aren’t easy topics to bring up with kids…and difficult to present with happy pictures. And we of course could have conversations on our own with our kids. But there’s just something about seeing and reading about topics in books. It connects with you differently. If you can relate something to a story, it’s much more memorable. Jesus even knew that about people and used word pictures and parables when He taught because He knows those images will stick with us.
Before Christmas I was on Amazon searching for a book for each of our kids for gifts. But not just any books,…books that would further their relationships with Jesus. I don’t even remember how I found this, if I recall correctly it was one of those “we suggest” books on the bottom on the screen. I’m so very glad it popped up.
God’s Love for You by Rich & Renee Stearns…I hadn’t seen or heard anything about this book before. After reading the overview and looking inside the book, I was sold. Not only was I pumped to be able to read this to our kids, I was excited to read it. What exactly is this book you ask? I’d love to tell you about it! This book tells familiar Bible stories at kids’ level, gives a little key point with each story and then the cool part…most stories are then related with a story from real life people from all over the world. It talks about so many stories of people living in poverty giving away what little they have, children who trust God despite living in desperate circumstances, and so many real life examples of the Church loving peoples because that’s what Christ wants us to do! It has been such a neat thing to be able to talk to our kids about how differently kids in places like Africa, China, and South America live. It opens their eyes, minds, and hearts to all these precious people that God has created who need not only basic physical needs met, but their deep spiritual needs met by Jesus. It has been such a neat thing for our family to sit down every night before the kids go to bed, read a story from the Bible and then read about another country and how God is at work there. It has also been an excellent way to rope in praying for missionaries, global problems, and people groups.
Rich & Renee do an excellent job of approaching difficult topics without scaring kids or giving too much information. Some stories talk about parents dying, child soldiers, earthquakes, hurricanes, or people becoming injured and then disabled. But the stories are written in such a positive tone and related back to the gospel. There is a lot of talk about trust in God no matter what. That God can use hard things for good. That God uses His Church to bring His hope to the dark places. Such.good.stuff.
As a stay-at-home mom I often feel there’s just not much I can do right now as far as serving others outside of my context. I know I’m not the only one. And while we are always reminded that motherhood is a huge mission-field…it feels very mundane and often counter-productive some days. But I’m just going to tell you, having this book and the conversations we’ve had come from it…I feel like I’m helping plant seeds in their little hearts. Seeds of becoming outward focused Jesus lovers. Seeds of compassion for all peoples. Seeds of the Gospel. This book as helped me pray specially for our family…especially our kids to have the eyes, ears, hands, and feet of Jesus. It gets me excited to think of how God will use them one day. Maybe I won’t ever get to visit AIDS victims in Africa…but maybe He has that planned for these kids. And who knows…maybe it all started with us reading this kids book every night before bed. Kind of blows my mind a little to be honest 🙂
So I really could go on and on about how much I love this book but I will just say one last thing…if you desire for your kids to get more out of familiar Bible stories and relate Christ’s love to your kids in a missional, global way…this book is for your family my friend. I also guarantee you will get a lot out of it as well.
And if you yourself are looking for something to read regarding global issues, the Gospel, and how the Church relates to all of that…I recommend Rich Stearns book“A Hole in Our Gospel”. It’s a lot to take in sometimes, but well worth your time. Also, Rich Stearns is the CEO of World Vision…make sure you check out their website if you’ve never looked into their organization before!
If you have any questions or comments about this book or others that you’ve found helpful…please comment away! Happy reading and discussing! (All the books mentioned in this post can be found in my aStore. Click here to view!)