Our family is in a special predicament because of our military lifestyle, meaning we do have to get out of our comfort zone to help out within our community. Being a military family, we do have certain experiences that can be quite different from the average family; such as, moving every three or four years to a new community - which may or may not be an entirely different region/country/culture.
I would love to be grounded one day, to know all the people in our community and to establish a routine of community service. But that is the thing about helping out--it's a global thing, a human trait; I believe God instilled in our hearts to serve other people. It's what we do with that ability to serve that makes the world go around.
Because of the language barrier, we do not serve around our German community as much as I would like to. Though I would love to find out more on how to, but the language barrier is keeping me at bay. As for our military community, that's a different story - I do try to volunteer for many of things...
Normally, I suppose, I do most of the community service projects because they are more geared towards adults than children here. First, we serve in a Missionary church off-post, so we always have visitors (other Missionaries) and if needed we volunteer to help out with the church whether its food drives, bible classes, teaching, etc. I have volunteered for projects like; AFAP (Army Family Action Plan), FRG (Family Readiness Group), POC ( FRG Phone Tree), VBS (Vacation Bible School)and many other happenings around post.
This new Garrison Commander even started something called 'Operation Clean Sweep' --where the community gets together on a certain Saturday to grab some bags and pick up liter around post. Honestly, I schedule for us to attend and have yet to make it, so hopefully the next one coming up we will attend.
Where there is a need within the community or within our battalion, I do try at best to help out. My children see by example that serving others is very important in our Christian walk for God. Several times we have passed out tracks on-post for our church and posted flyer's where we are 'allowed.' We have also passed out German tracts within our neighborhood also...
Helping others out is key to a Christian life. We are to love others and give. One motto that my children understand is J-O-Y! = Jesus, Others, and then You. Give to others and you shall receive blessings from our Lord.
One special 'school' project that I wanted to do with the kids is from VOM (Voice of Martyrs). In light of us starting school, I have been pre-planning projects for the upcoming term. As I have been pre-planning school projects, this one comes from our devotional book/curriculum; Doorposts on Charity. We also read and pray for (and subscribe to Voice of Martyrs) the Persecuted Church, I wanted to do this project for experience and knowledge for the boys... VOM also has a site just for kids. I love this website and the kids read their newsletter, you can visit KIDS OF COURAGE here.
I have ordered Action Pack bags for Christians in Iraq through VOM. I have received bags (5 of them). I would like to have this project done by the end of Thanksgiving and before Christmas. This project and other projects that we get our hands on will help first-hand in providing to instill kindness and help my boys experience Charity and all that it entails. When we get back to the States, I hope that as they are grow older, that they will be more involved within their communities and that this lifelong lesson is achieved throughout their lives.
You know, as long as my children understand this verse and it's message to us... 1 Corinthians 13:13, "And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity." --As long as they grow to be young men to adulthood still believing in faith, hope, & charity - then I have done my job as a mother.
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