I have had an interest in the nations since I was a kid growing up in the small town of Mission in South Texas. My interest in the nations is not something that happened by accident, but rather was the result of growing up in a family that loved the nations. It was not just one thing but instead a combination of things that fueled my interest in the peoples of the world. My Dad’s photographs and stories about his travels piqued my interest early on. Gifts sent from afar by traveling family members also fueled my curiosity about those who lived beyond my hometown. Books and magazines like National Geographic that were available in our home also played a role in teaching me about the nations. My membership in Commander Whitehall’s Explorers Club (for grade school kids) also contributed to my interest in the larger world. Every month I received a package from the Explorers Club — each one containing a map, a souvenir, a vinyl record, and information about the featured country. Looking back on it all, it’s easy to connect the dots. Learning about the peoples of the world helped me to fall in love with the nations.
One of the more fulfilling seasons of my ministry was during the years I taught Royal Ambassadors, a program designed to teach kids about missions. I had lots of fun finding creative ways to engage kids with the nations. As a missions pastor, it has long been a desire of mine to do a publication just for kids — something specifically designed to package content about the nations in a kid-friendly way. That dream is now a reality. This Sunday, we will premier the first quarterly issue of Go Beyond Just for Kids. Our first issue is all about water and is full of information that will teach our kids about what kids in other parts of the world have to do in order to access water. In each of the following issues we will explore different aspects of life for kids around the world.
I am especially grateful to Andrea Bierschwale, Kristin Brown, Jason Brod, and Heidi Doe for their editorial and graphic design work. We will distribute copies of Go Beyond Just for Kids this Sunday morning at Kingsland. Copies will also be available at different locations around our campus. I encourage you to review the contents with your kids or grandkids and answer any questions they may have. Have fun with it and be sure to give special attention to the “How Can I Help?” section. My prayer is that this new publication will help our kids to learn about and to fall in love with the nations.