My very, very, first HEAV convention, I was wandering the exhibit hall alone and stopped by a table that was offering free books.
Yeah, what kinda homeschool mom would pass that up, right?
And that was my introduction to Gospel For Asia. At a table at HEAV.
Actually, I had read the book, Revolution in World Missions a few years before and it had a profound effect on how I looked at missions. And of course that was one of the books that was free!
Speaking with one of their volunteers, I felt led to become a monthly sponsor of a missionary. At first it was really more for me, but the girls and I pray for our missionary regularly and read the regular updates from the area.
Then, we started our own efforts to help. Instead of an allowance, our girls “earn money” (more in a post later about that) to put toward helping the poor in India. So far, my girls have collected changed and earned money to purchase chickens, rabbits, blankets, and gospel tracts. A few months later, we got ambitious and stepped it up a notch! We created a myGFA campaign and raised money for a water filter, so they could have clean water! My girls love reading about what’s needed, and they love to shop, so we look through the booklets and pick a new project on special occasions! (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.)
My girls were horrified when we read how many in India didn’t have toilets. We have saved up their earnings money to save up and buy an outdoor toilet. I even give incentives for memorizing math facts for money (speed drills – every problem they get right earns them a penny for the jar.)
This all came from spending five minutes at a booth a few years ago at HEAV, and now our girls have true understanding of this particular country – far beyond memorizing capitals and gross national products.
We’ve expanded into other areas as well. We sponsor a child in Haiti through World Vision, and have visited/talked with friends that are missionaries/ doing global relief work around the world. When a missionary speaks at our church, we take our kids – that’s how we introduced the Ukraine and the conflict there to our girls last summer. We’ve created Christmas boxes for Operation Christmas Child every year, and then tracked where the box ended up. This past year, we’ve been reading biographies of missionaries as we look at various counties around the globe. Many of these are stories that hubby and I haven’t learned. We love reading through these books each evening!
Our girls now have an eye for God’s world in a way that I NEVER had as a child. Oh, what a great blessing homeschooling has been to our family!
Is this something you’re considering adding into your “homeschool” next year? There are several resources at this year’s HEAV convention you might want to check out these organization in the Exhibit Hall:
Lamplighter Publishing – Good group of Biographies!
WYAM Publishing – Great for Biographies! Many of the ones we use come from them.