Sunday, March 7, 2010
"Will the world change our children...or will our children change the world? Time is short and lives are at stake. Right now, God is inviting our families to become part of a bigger story—a vision that will engage hearts to make a radical difference. One Million Arrows is an inspirational call to raise our kids to impact their culture, community, and world for Christ." Julie Ferwerda from One Million Arrows
There is a battle scene in one of my favorite movies, Last of the Mohicans, in which the English are fighting with the local colonists. The English soldiers line up in parade-like formation, take slow aim and fire at their opponents. It's all very civilized.
But we know the outcome: Those rude, wild Americans fought in an uncouth style...sneaking around and shooting willy-nilly, ultimately sending the English Red Coats sailing back across the pond defeated.
As Christian parents, most of us have been raising our kids with a very clear and organized plan. We take them to church on Sundays, drop them off at AWANA, write an occassional check to the youth program and hope for the best. We say grace at mealtimes and share how God has blessed us around the Thanksgiving dinner table. It's all been prescribed and we're following our marching orders.
The problem is that our enemy doesn't fight by the same rules. He's sneaky and goes after our kids in random, surprising ways. We need a new battle plan in which we are prepared for attacks in unexpected places and our guns are blazing from every-which-way.
One Million Arrows (WinePress), by Julie Ferwerda, lays out the complacent path toward destruction we are traveling, bringing deep conviction. She offers stories and reliable statistics about how children are growing up, and growing away from the faith of their youth.
Inspiration for the book came from the vision of Dr. M.A. Thomas, a man known around the world as "Papa." During an extended visit to India, Ferwerda spent time with this humble man and grabbed his vision with both hands. His vision was to "Gather one million broken branches--the native-born, orphaned, and abandoned children--sharpen them with education, faith and a heart for The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), and launch them like arrows back into all the regions of India that have never heard about Jesus...or the world."
The Enemy wishes nothing more than to coax our kids, if not into rebellion, into pursuing passionless, insignificant, and potentially empty lives. As long he he can hamstring them with apathy, he need not worry about them doing damage to his kingdom. But now, like Papa, we've been given the exciting opportunity to raise arrows--weapons of warfare. Our kids [and those we have influence over] have been put on this earth for great puropose and a mission. P 21-22 OMA
In OMA, Ferwerda doesn't stop at stomping on our hearts to reveal the damage we may have done or the opportunities we've missed. She doesn't leave us feeling sad and desperate. Through story after story of families who've been employing this philosophy, we are built back up and inspired with a game plan. Our children, their children and the future of God's good purposes are not lost because we can step back into the battle with new armor and fresh strategies. The message is clear: It's never too late.
I hope people with and without young children will read One Million Arrows. Each of us has a potential role to play in gathering, sharpening and launching the weapons God surrounds us with each day. Buy the book at Amazon. Give one to the parents you know. Give one to your pastor and children's ministry workers. (*All proceeds from OMA go to international orphan ministry) Use the resources on the website. This isn't just a book, it's our collective mission as Believers.
Share your thoughts, concerns and experiences about raising (and influencing) kids that will change the world. You'll automatically be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of the book. Check back for the winner at the bottom of the post on March 14. Contact me if it's you!