I had a pleasant and uplifting surprise today — one that warmed my heart and made me smile. Grace Carmichael, one of our Kingsland kids, brought a special offering to church this morning. Last week, Grace set up a lemonade stand in her neighborhood to raise money to fight human trafficking. She enlisted the help of her grandparents who provided baked goodies and also recruited some friends to help her. Grace raised $65.00 and brought her gift to church in a zip lock bag.
Grace’s mother Rachel said, “Grace knew very little about problems outside of her small world until this church purposefully took a stand and action” to fight human trafficking. She added, “It was a marvelous sight to see my nine-year-old teach people about the problems of human suffering and give selflessly.” Grace modeled what we often tell our kids at Kingsland: you don’t have to be a grown-up to make a difference in our world.
One of my favorite songs is entitled “By Our Love” by singer Christy Nockels. One of the verses of the song says, “Children, you are hope for justice, stand firm in the Truth now, set your hearts above. You will be reaching, long after we’re gone, and they will know you by your love!” If we teach our children about justice today, then it’s possible that our children will become champions who will come to the aid of those who will suffer oppression in the next generation.
At Kingsland, we encourage and guide parents to be the primary faith trainers of their children. Our prayer is that as we work alongside parents, we can teach our kids to be a little less selfish, a little more thoughtful of those in need, and much more willing to make personal sacrifices in order to make a difference. We also hope that as a result of intentionally teaching our children about justice, our children will do something to make a difference both now and in the years to come.
I am proud of Grace and encouraged by the fact that she did something practical and measurable to help people in desperate need. Her gift will help us as we continue to work on behalf of the 27 million people in the world today who are trapped in some form of slavery. One-hundred percent of her gift will be used to help victims of human trafficking both locally and among the nations.
May we continue to teach our kids about the unfamiliar passions of God — caring for the least of these, helping the weak, and championing the cause of the oppressed. And may we continue to teach them that they can make a difference now. I appreciate the fact that Grace’s parents and grandparents encouraged her to follow-through on her idea to set up a lemonade stand for justice. That’s a great way to raise up a generation of champions.