Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at www.generousmind.com.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Little Blue Country

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.

Ethiopia
Today's pick came from Girl 7. She closed her eyes and panned her index finger across the map which came to rest on Kenya. Then for no apparent reason (but that perhaps the country adjacent was blue) she changed her pick to Ethiopia.
What a rich history this small, land-locked country has! One of the first Christian nations as well as one of the oldest known nations; it is suspected that coffee originated here. Caffeinated beverages are highly valued around here, so that was an exciting tidbit.

We talked about the famines in the 80s and how people helped bring aid to the country, but that now we needed to pray that their own agriculture grows in spite of the fact that the soil is tired after 3000 years of cultivation. A few of us prayed, and then we watched the YouTube video of the "We are the World" song that many artists including Michael Jackson and Kenny Rogers sang to raise money for the suffering people at that time.
Good Intentions
In the beginning of this journey, I expected long, in depth conversations. Now I am finding that short and sweet is best. We seem to learn more, it is fun and it takes the pressure off. Just a thought.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Reimagining Italy

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.
Note: Guest blogging is husband Jon

Well, the weekend was crazy so we suspended our World Tour Vacation using Operation World. I guess every vacation needs some down days.

Anyway, we were back on the road today and visiting the amazing country of Italy. Our son loves Italy because of the food. So we let him search for a few great photos of Italian food on Google images and he showed his favorites.

We also talked about why so much of Italy is considered Christian but there still significant need to share the love of Christ there. That is a complex concept . . . not sure how much got through. We explained about the Pope and the Catholic Church. Our daughter had recently studied some of the differences between the Protestant and Catholic Church in Sunday School and shared some of what she remembered.

We also talked about the high literacy rate and the relatively few immigrants that live there. We got to look below Italy and see how close Libya is to them. That brought up some good discussion on immigrants and the lengths people will go to get to a country of greater opportunity.

We finished up wanting some of the amazing pizzas we saw in the pictures! It's fun when you can tie other countries to the passions of your kids . . . like we did with our son. He has always been passionate about baking and so Italy was a natural to get his attention.

How are you connecting your kid's passions to help them pray for the nations?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Japanese Intermission

This entry is a part of a series from July 29-August 13. Join me in taking your family on a World Tour Vacation at Home using the Operation World prayer guide.

Intermission
We've been watching different Disney movies as a family to get ready for our trip in October. We've been putting off the Robin Hood request because it’s just so long for an after dinner movie. Tonight we broke it in two parts and visited Japan during intermission with our chocolate surprise (which was a shared Hershey milk chocolate bar).

Japan
I gave the kids paper and pencils and had our oldest tell us about the Japanese art style manga. Then I let them draw as we talked. I gave them each a “test” question to guess at.
  1. Is Japan landlocked, an island or a peninsula?
  2. True or false: There are many immigrants in Japan.
  3. True or false: The Japanese can believe in whatever religion they choose.


We also talked about prayer requests. This is what I appreciate most about Operation World, the prayer requests. Tonight we prayed:
  • That the people of Japan would understand the Bible since it is not easy to understand within their culture. This is where our oldest told us about Manga Messiah she found at the library that might be a help to Japanese trying to understand the Scripture.
  • That the people of Japan would see that Jesus is not only God to other countries, but for them as well.
  • That God would take care of the rising numbers of older people and that they would come to know Jesus in their old age.


Good intentions
It was all I could do today to follow through on this trip. Much of motherhood is pushing through. Whether it is cleaning a bed in the dark of night or slathering sunscreen on a moving target, sometimes it is just about getting the job done and being consistent. Maybe I don’t have extra creativity to give, but I can give all I have for the day and trust that God will make up the difference—even if it means letting something go for the day.

Until tomorrow! Blessings…

Answers: 1) A group of islands. Four large and 3000 small. 2) False. Only 1.5 percent of those living in Japan are not indigenous. 3) True. Religious freedom is written into their constitution.