I was sitting in chapel yesterday morning and I was hit with a deeper realization of where we live. Below is a picture of a woman who was orphaned by the age of 11. She shared her testimony as it came around that she is now caring for about 25 orphans (some of the boys are shown with her below).
For December, Hillcrest decided to have as many kids who wanted to participate in a shoebox gift giving service project. My kids joined in and gave what they had (which isn't much lately) or had saved up to buy what they could to help other kids who have no other way to "receive" at Christmas. I enjoy this for them, especially as they work alongside our ministry and see that the need is real and all around them.
Then as Mrs. Cikan (the woman above) started sharing her testimony which included suicide attempt and death and abandonment I started thinking about how this is common conversation pieces now for us as a family. Over the past week, Gus has come home with questions about one of the prayer requests at school involving rape. Sarah had come home with questions about what does it mean when one is "massacred"? Sami comes home all of the time with thoughts about death and why people die a lot...
These are not easy questions, nor would I know what the textbooks say about when you should talk to your kids about these types of things. All I do know is that my kids hear about it and then we talk about it and then they bring in all the information into who they are becoming. I am not even meaning to complain, it is just a realization that my family works through heavy life circumstances all of the time. I believe in the USA these same things happen as well, but it just isn't so readily and easily mentioned or brought to the fore front of daily living.
I know that God has us here right now, so as a family we will continue to move forward with these questions and answer them the best way we know how. But, I ask for you to please pray for us because I don't have all of the answers and I don't know what is "healthy" and what is not "healthy" for our kids and these questions. BUT, I do know that God knows all of the answers and He will guide us and He has a plan for our kids and somehow this season in their lives will be used for His glory and His good. AND, in the meanwhile my kids are serving and loving and giving. All of a sudden I feel okay with the tradeoff. Life isn't always easy, is it?