Wednesday, July 21, 2010

KIN's lasting effects

Most people reading this blog are familiar enough with Student Ministries at NMC to know what KIN stands for. But for those that don't, it means Kids In Need. Last school year the entire student population (grades 5-12) at NMC focused on meeting the needs of kids around the world. The focus had three goals: GAIN awareness, GIVE sacrificially and LIVE differently.

I wrote a little about one of my KIN experiences here.

But now I want to share with you how Kids In Need has marked me deeply enough to make me LIVE differently.

Perspective has been a word I've used a lot lately. The more I learn and see, the more I'm convinced that much of how we respond to things in life is based on perspective. Looking at things from the wrong perspective leads to the wrong response in almost all instances.

But how does one change his/her perspective? It's an easy thing to talk about but a very difficult thing to actually accomplish.

Throughout the school year, I was consistently learning new facts and stories of Kids In Need. In fact, one of the first things I did to GAIN awareness was write to two guys I know who work in different urban areas. I asked them what the greatest needs facing the kids in their areas were and, to paraphrase, both said the kids needed parents who care about them.

That was not the answer I was looking for because how could I help with that? I wanted them to say something like new shoes, a basketball court, help with school or anything tangible that I could figure out a way to provide for them.

So, at first I was very frustrated because, while I had GAINed awareness, I couldn't figure out how to GIVE anything to them.

Now nearly a year after I received those answers, God has officially broken my heart for the kids who need parents who care. Reading stories from Kory and Alison at the Transformation have helped to change my perspective.

I never knew there were kids who come home to a place where nobody is around and there is no food to eat, no electricity, no heat or air conditioning, no phone and no running water.

I never knew parents could abandon their kids.

I never knew drugs could become more important to people than their families, especially their children.

I never knew kids as young as mine (8 & 5) are sometimes left alone and allowed to wander the streets for days at a time.

All these things exist.
All these things are common.
All these things happen in my own town.

And I cannot stand for it any longer.
I have to do something about it.
Doing nothing is no longer an option.

Starting right now I am LIVING differently. This life is no longer about me. I am not here to be served but to serve.

My KIDS will always know that I love them because of the way I prioritize my time.

My KIDS may not always have the newest, fanciest, prettiest or best stuff, but they will always have a loving home to live in - no matter what they've done, who they've been with, where they've gone or why they made those choices.

My KIDS are not the only ones who deserve these things. All KIDS deserve to be loved and, with God's help, I am going to work to make sure they are.

Here I am. Send me.

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