Candice and I just finished one of the most perspective transforming events in our life, thus far. It was our 1st ‘Mission Vacation’ with the kids to Sri Lanka. We took a couple of days from our vacation to visit two orphanages in Kurunegela. This was an idea that we were mulling over for a while, the seeds of which were planted in our heart long ago and we finally got to do it.
As a family, we do our best to set a culture and value system for our kids because we know these would set a right foundation for our kids to build their futures on.
Here are some of the reasons why we choose to do a Mission Vacation with our kids this year.
The Bible Teaches Us
The Word of God is the ultimate authority and standard in our lives; being generous is weaved in all through the Bible. We’ve learnt that being generous is heart issue. It is not something that is natural to do, because as humans our tendency is to be selfish. Every other year we planned out our vacation, we always thought about ourselves and what we would enjoy. But as we continue to grow in our walk with the Lord and allow His Lordship to govern more of us, we realise there are more areas where we need to apply what the Word guides us to do.
Here are some of the verses in the Bible that encouraged us to do our Mission Vacation.
- Proverbs 14:31 – Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.
- Proverbs 28:27 – Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.
- James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress.
That is simply what we did this year; applied the instruction of generosity which the Bible taught us in our vacation. As an added bonus, we wanted to unleash the promise of blessing over our kids as they learn to apply what the word of God says.
Our Parents Showed Us
Candice and I are both absolutely blessed to come from families where generosity was lived as a lifestyle by our parents. Here is simple example from my home, for most kids Christmas was probably a time when everyone would focus on expensive parties, gifts and other things to gratify oneself. Here is how our Christmas went every year until a few years back when my sibs and I got married and moved out of our parents place.About a week before Christmas, my mom and Dad would make a list of about 25 uncles from church who were labourers in construction companies and other blue-collar jobs. My dad would take me along with him to Bur Dubai (particularly to a store called Tip Top) and purchase a shirt for everyone of them. I distinctly remember how my dad would choose a unique shirt (colour/design) for each one of them. On Christmas day, all the uncles would come to our house early in the morning. My mom would prepare the most amazing breakfast (one which even we as kids would never get) of south Indian delicacies of freshly made Idli, Vada, Mutton Korma and some sweets. After the sumptuous breakfast, my dad would give each of the uncles their gift. They would spend the whole day in our house watching whatever video tapes we had. Lunch and mid day snacks would keep their tummy full the whole day. This was just the way we celebrated Christmas as a family.
From a young age, parents taught me the value for sharing whatever blessings we have with the ones who don’t have anything. Actually, they showed it to me.
Our Children Look at Us
If you don’t have kids yet, this title reads ‘The Next Generation Looks at Us’.
Whether we like it or not, our kids are growing up in an environment of excessive luxury than needed. Having gadgets with internet, people to serve them, air-conditioned environment, cars to pick and drop, timely and satisfying meals. Not to mention all the gifts and love that gets showered over them throughout the year. We felt our kids were growing up thinking this is normal for every kid in the world. Now how far from the truth is that? We could see our kids are living in a fantasy land where everything gets served on a silver platter. Throw in a little tantrums and they can push their luck to gain even more.
Candice and I are on a mission of our own to break that mindset. We wanted to set a culture for them to remember the poor, needy, orphans as young as they are. Now we cannot just sit on a comfortable sofa with wonderful AC, sipping coffee and teach our kids about being generous from an iPad. We had to go and do it ourselves because our children look at us.
These were some of the main reasons why we did our Mission Vacation. Candice will be sharing how we went about planning and experiencing the Mission Vacation in the next blog.
But allow me to say this, I don’t know how much my kids have learnt from this experience. But I for one had a perspective changing experience. I just cannot comprehend how much God has blessed me and my family. I live with a greater appreciation of what God has blessed us with.