Today our oldest son turns eleven years old.  Over the last year he has demonstrated a tremendous amount of personal growth.  He argues less, submits to Mom and Dad more, and is learning that rewards come with responsibility.

It’s a bit of a challenge sometimes for our kids, as it is for any kids, to grasp the way that Mom and Dad spend their money.  As the world gets faster and more people have more gadgets, living simply becomes more and more of an oddity.  We are struggling to raise the kids simply, and we fall into materialism just like the rest of the American church.

It’s not that I feel bad that, due to our lifestyle, Cameron doesn’t feel wealthy.  It’s that I want him to grasp how wealthy he already is.  How many kids around the world would do anything to have his life.  And a good bit of our money each year goes to help those kids out.

Since he turned seven, Cameron has maintained a penpal relationship with a little boy in Kenya who shares his birthday.  When he turns twelve, he will be old enough to travel to meet this boy.  We would like to see that happen.  One of the gifts we want to give our kids is an understanding of the fact that the rest of the world isn’t like the U.S.

So that’s why I started running ads on my blog this year.  I’m trying to put some money together for Cameron (and either his dad or me) to go to Kenya in the next year or two.  After that, it will be Ben’s turn, and then the rest.  We pray that this will be a rite of passage for our kids, to help them navigate the materialism that so often besets childhood in the U.S.

If you’d like to help fund his trip, you can click on the “donate” button in the right sidebar, and give securely through PayPal.  Thank you!

“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’

(Isaiah 58:6-9a ESV)

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4 Responses to “Eleven”

  1. Anonymous

    Great thing to do, Kelly! I know that seeing people in other countries has greatly impacted our kids!Laura Childes


  2. Josh and Dana

    What a great idea, Kelly! This is heavy on my heart too and we have a little pen pal in the Philippines (with Isaiah's birthday), but I haven't felt really successful in giving Isaiah a real peek into the lives of boys and girls across the world. Josh and I talk a lot about taking our kids on trips overseas and it being an ongoing part of what we do as a family which is why we're working hard to get out of debt, save, etc. It's so encouraging to see you doing this with your kids.


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