It is really easy for me to be excited about Christmas . . . Jesus came to Earth and was born as a human so we can know Him – this is truly exciting! It is very easy for this message to be “lost” in all the “busyness” and the “celebrating” of Christmas. I, probably like most of you, tend to be very busy at Christmas and I absolutely love celebrating it with my family, particularly my grandsons! But I need to be sure to remember some very important things about Christmas . . . there are those who are so badly in need of hearing and receiving the message of Christmas – Jesus’ love.
In addition to posting here on Kidmin1124 and writing my own blog, About the Children’s Department, I also write a blog for grandmas – and grandpas, moms and dads, too – grandma’s cookie jar. Nearly everything I post on this blog is about the “wonderfulness” (may not be a “real” word, but it works!) of being a grandma! I do however, also share each week the photo and information on a missing child so everyone can be praying for this child and his/her family. I receive the alerts from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – and these alerts break my heart. Many of these missing children are considered “Endangered Runaways”. When I look at the photos of these children – typically between the ages of 12 and 17 – I wonder, “what was he/she like when he/she was three or four?” They were probably just sweet, little children who wanted to be loved. I wonder what happened to bring them to a point where they chose to run away from home? For some, home is likely not a safe place where they are nurtured, cherished and wanted. For others they may have been influenced by someone with motives of their own. Regardless of why they ran away, the fact is they ran away. I wonder, “how might things have been different if they had someone in their lives who shared Jesus’ love with them?” As you celebrate Christmas this year, please make the following commitments . . .
- pay attention to the children in your ministries. Notice if a child may be in need of help. Do you notice bruises? Is a child silent, timid and fearful? Does a child say something which might make you wonder if they are safe or in need of help? Pay attention. Have a written policy for what you do when child abuse/neglect is suspected and be sure all your volunteers know it – and follow it.
- please be intentional about helping children know for sure Jesus loves them and no matter what they face in their life, He is there to face it with them. Share this truth over and over again. More importantly, show it by the way you and the volunteers in your ministry interact with children and families.
- be sure they know they can turn to you for help if they ever need it.