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How are the children?

Think of how we greet one another…
Good morning… Hi!... How are you?... Hey!... How is your day going?
When Maasai warriors greet one another, they offer a different question:
How are the children?
Think of those fierce Maasai warriors, clad in red, brandishing spears. Even in a day of modern weaponry, they are a frightening sight! Our daughter went on safari in Africa several years ago with some of her friends. That group of women are bold and fearless in their professional lives, and they planned to carry that same attitude into their African adventures. However, when we discovered that they intended to camp while on safari, we were concerned for their safety. But then our daughter told us their security plan: Maasai guardians. Every night when they camped, they would be protected by Maasai warriors complete with their frightening spears. That was all we needed to know to sleep peacefully while she was on safari. We were comforted all the more when we learned the heart of the Maasai culture- their children. Who better to protect my child than warriors who greet one another with the concern: How are the children?
That is the greeting I offer to you today. How are the children? This past year-and-a-half has taken a toll on our children. We see significant increases in childhood poverty and mental health issues. We know that in spite of the herculean efforts of our teachers this year, our children are still lagging behind where they need to be in their education. Here at Lenape Valley our Christian Education team has worked tirelessly to help our parents create ‘home church’ to continue the nurture and education of their children’s faith. Our Fellowship team has helped to create special moments to allow our families a break from the isolation. But we know even with all those efforts, we have a lot of catch up to do with our children, youth, and their families in the year ahead. The question: How are the children? needs to be at the forefront of our thoughts and prayers as we begin to emerge from a COVID reality.
The Elders of Lenape Valley are actively considering how to invest in our children in the years ahead to nurture the next generation into the faith. Your continuing support of the ministry gives our Elders the resources to devote to the care of our children. Your robust support of the Deacons’ Fund since COVID began has allowed us to offer resources to families outside our faith community, so that the needs of our neighbors’ children are also met. Your continued generosity will allow us to move forward with significant efforts to care for our children and our neighbor’s children. Yet, these efforts are just a part of what is needed. Every one of us has a child in our lives… or two… or twelve… precious little ones and not so little ones who need the loving care of a grandmother, a great grandfather, an aunt, a neighbor. How are the children in your life? Your prayers, your kind words, your loving care are essential touch points of God’s grace in a hurting world. You are in that child’s life for such a time as this!
Even as we focus our concern on the children we know and love, we must not forget the children beyond our sphere of life. How are the children of the world? We see images in the news of war zones where children are caught in the middle of conflict. The violence in the Holy Land leaves children on both sides in physical danger, experiencing trauma that will impact their lives for years to come. We see children suffering in drought ravaged countries in Southern Africa and Central America, where a child will die every 5 seconds from hunger related disease. We see the devastation of COVID in India, where children are being orphaned by a pandemic out of control. These images break our hearts and leave us feeling helpless. Instead, those images should send us to our knees in prayer for those working for peace and healing. Our God is the Great Healer, and He has placed faithful workers in the places of greatest need to care for the children. Your Mission team just sent your mission dollars to Samaritan’s Purse for their work in India. World Vision is working in Africa to teach drought resistant farming practices so that the people will be able to feed their children tomorrow, even as World Vision feeds the children today. God is calling us to prayer today! Is it possible that God is also calling you to partner with our Christian brothers and sisters who are on the front lines caring for the children?
How are the children?

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