I have been fortunate to take a few days off to relax at a friend’s cabin in the woods. I was thinking and praying while sitting in a camp chair in the Wenatchee River. It was the heat of the day and I was being refreshed with my feet soaking in the water.
The conversation I was having with God was about the vision He has given me for the world. There are many things which should be changed in our world, but I am called to a particular vision—a calling Melissa and I received in 1999 that has become clearer as we have sought to be obedient. We choose serving with World Concern because the vision we have been given intersects with World Concern’s.
I have a vision of a world where every parent (grandparent, caregiver) can meet the needs of their children. Traveling the world I have seen that parents everywhere care deeply about their children, even as I do about my four children. Parents are given the responsibility by God to raise up their children and in almost all cases this is what they desire to do. Yet hundreds of millions cannot provide the basic needs. It is not lack of concern or effort it is bigger world issues.
We must change the world. We must create a place where every parent can provide nutrition, shelter, health, education and spiritual nurture for their children. Our world view is formed within our families and communities. God created the family for this purpose. If we are going to change the world it must be done generationally through families.
How would I feel if someone else had to step in and provide care for my children? It is demoralizing to have others care for our children. When parents are set aside so that outsiders can meet their children’s needs, it may feel good to the outsider, but it is a very negative experience for the parent. We need to provide for the family needs by empowering the parents.
In disaster situations this may require direct food inputs, but let us do so with the family in mind. Most of the need in the world can be overcome through supporting the caregivers by providing education, health systems, water, food security, education, and income opportunity. Wrapping all of that will be the need for Biblical values that direct life decisions.
We know that future generations must be prepared to run this world. Strengthening the family to meet the needs of their children is a generational solution to poverty. Children raised by parents meeting their needs will learn to do the same for their children in turn. Parents have the greatest influence on the lives of children we can and must positively change that influence.