I think one of the best ways to help our families to understand missions is to actually do something together. I'm always looking for ways my children can help me serve others. Recently I've come to know a remarkable young lady, Isabel Jones, founder of Shoes for Kids.
Both of Isabel's parents work for Compassion. A couple years ago, their entire family took a trip to Kenya to see Compassion's work up close and personal. Isabel was particularly moved as she noticed how happy the children were - even though they had nothing - even though they were barefoot.
When she came back to the US, she was inspired to begin collecting shoes for children who have never had any. Isabel turns 12 this Saturday - April 2nd. She has declared her birthday International Make a Happy Foot Day and is encouraging everyone to go a day without shoes.
Isn't this a wonderful opportunity for us to understand poverty just a little bit more? It's also a wonderful opportunity to talk to our kids about making a difference now. You do not have to be an adult to make an impact on the world.
Please read all about Isabel and her endeavor on her website Shoes for Kids. There is a great (short) movie where Isabel talks about her heart for this ministry. You can also read a couple posts her mom wrote HERE and HERE.
I'm encouraging you to try this as a family...and then go shopping for shoes for children living in poverty. Most of the shoes Isabel collects end up going to children in countries where Compassion works. When her parents travel with Compassion, they take shoes with them and make happy feet.
My own daughters and I have enjoyed picking out shoes for other kids. As we shop, we talk about how happy the kids will be to have shoes that protect their feet. It's so much fun to shop for other people, and to imagine what the shoes will be used for. Will little girls dance in the shoes? Will little boys play soccer? Will a teenager go to her first job interview? Will a high school student wear them to graduate?
Don't forget to shop in your own closets, too. Maybe you have a couple extra pairs that are gently worn and would love to be worn regularly by another child.