COVID19: uncertainty or opportunity

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COVID-19These are uncertain times. The Coronavirus has upended our entire lives. Many people aren’t working. Kids are home from school. Church services have been cancelled. We’re now having virtual church services. On the positive side we’re now spending more time with our families than ever before. The words “I’m too busy” are absent from our vocabulary.

4Teens

High school seniors are struggling with the rest of their senior year cancelled.

High school seniors won’t be going to prom, awards ceremonies, and graduation. Athletes were forced to give up their winter tournament schedule. Their spring schedule never got started. They’re scared, angry, sad, and some are depressed because their senior year is NOT what they expected. College seniors are facing similar frustrations. Spring term was cancelled. Their room and board fees aren’t being refunded. They don’t have enough credits to graduate, so that cancelled or delayed commencement ceremony doesn’t mean much after all.

Fear and anxiety can be debilitating. It can cause us to just to silent – praying all this will come to an end. Guess what? This too shall pass. “What”, you say? Yes, this season of our lives will come to an end and we’ll move on to the next problem. The question is, how will the Coronavirus crisis define us?

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Family spending time together reading God’s word.

As followers of Christ, we can’t be silent during these times of uncertainty. Ignoring these situations means forgoing an opportunity to share Christ. I’m not talking about sharing Christ with the people across the street, or around the world. I mean sharing Christ with OUR KIDS. They’re struggling to make sense of it all. They’re afraid. Anxiety is running rampant. Our top priority should be to make Christ followers of our kids. That’s discipleship. Our kids must be our top priority.

I can’t help but be reminded of the Old Testament story of Queen Esther who God used to deliver the Jews from genocide. Esther 4:14 are the words of Mordecai, Esther’s uncle and mentor. He counseled her against keeping silent. “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS?”

Keys for Kids and Unlocked

Keys for Kids and Unlocked devotionals available at https://www.keysforkids.org/

I’m the President of Keys for Kids Ministries. We are here for such a time as this — providing tools for parents and grandparents when you don’t know what to say. Our Keys for Kids devotional for kids ages 6-12 and our Unlocked devotional for high school teens in print can help with that. If you don’t want to wait, download the apps. Search for Keys for Kids or Unlocked devotional on the app store. 

We also teamed up You Version to create a seven-day devotional called Conquering Fear. Search for that on the You Version app. We’re also providing Activity Packs with coloring pages, stories, journal, and power pages to let us know how to pray for you. You can find that at keysforkids.net and follow links.

These are uncharted waters. They’re full of uncertainty, fear, and anxiety if you’re looking through the world’s eye. They’re full of opportunity in God’s eyes.  

Kids need one thing…hope

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Mahlik suffering in Etheopia (photo by Greg Yoder)

Grand Rapids, Mich (K4K) — I have traveled all over the world. Many say our world is falling apart. Wars, social injustice, and child abuse have left their marks. What’s the common theme? Children are suffering. They’re the ones who suffer most in these situations. Through no fault of their own, they’re left to try to survive as adults make mistake after mistake.

While the physical suffering is heartbreaking, even more heartbreaking is that many are suffering without knowing Jesus. And as they grow up, many are looking for truth. In Arab nations, many believe the lies of Islam. In India, it’s Hinduism and Buddhism. In North America it’s humanism and materialism.

In Syria, children are homeless. They’ve been forced from their homes because of years of civil war. Death is all around them. In India, the fight against the caste system continues, and abject poverty enslaves them. In America, they’re enslaved to something aspired to throughout the world — greed.

The physical suffering is obvious, which draws the attention of millions of dollars. But the spiritual suffering isn’t as clear. And it’s not just affecting those struggling physically, it’s hit our kids, too.

Our culture has told our kids our world wasn’t created, it evolved by chance. God has been rejected and at times our faith has been called hate speech, and gender is now considered a matter of choice. There has to be answers to all of these issues. There is one answer, Christ alone.

There is a window of opportunity that we have to speak to children. Barna Research tells us that nearly 70% of all people who gave their hearts to Christ, did so between their 4th and their 14th birthdays. That’s called the 4/14 Window. That means we have a brief 10 year window in which to reach them with the Gospel, and help them grow in their faith.

Are we raising moral kids?

Teach your kids the Truth found in Christ through Keys for Kids devotionals (photo by Janelle Ruppert)

Interestingly enough, ministry leaders at the 4/14 Window indicate 80% of all kids worldwide are searching for spiritual truth. That’s right. They’re searching for it. That’s why support is needed today more than ever to to make sure ALL kids can not only have God’s Word, but understand it.

That’s why Keys for Kids Ministries is needed today. It’s providing stories that are pointing kids to God’s Word, where they’re learning the only hope for paying for their sins is Christ. As they’re reading God’s Word, the coinciding stories are helping them understand Scripture and how it applies to them TODAY. The lessons they learn are providing them the tools they need to defend their faith — becoming apologists in a world craving answers.

Keys for Kids is at a crossroads. There are over a billion kids who need Christ, but we’re only printing a few hundred-thousand each year. The only way to change this scale of need is to ask God for a miracle. That miracle, though, starts with you.

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Keys for Kids devotionals are igniting a passion for Christ in kids and their families (Photo by Greg Yoder).

Your financial support may be the tool God uses to motivate someone else to reach out in a profound way. Your prayers may be what releases an amazing blessing from our Father. Or, your passion for this ministry via Facebook or Twitter could be the viral fire we need to exponentially grow this ministry through grassroots marketing efforts.

The biggest problem we have isn’t that there is a need for God’s word to reach kids. It’s knowing that Keys for Kids Ministries has the tools to empower parents, grandparents, friends and nieghbors to share Jesus with kids all around them. Would you become a Keys for Kids ambassador?

Begin by sharing this story. Follow it up by encouraging people to “like” our Facebook page (Facebook.com/keysforkidsministries). Then, start sharing our daily email devotionals. Purchase copies of our printed devotional to leave in the lobby of your church, local business or other community centers.

Go to keysforkids.org to find out more about Keys for Kids Ministries. You can also listen to our full-time radio station for kids at keysforkids.net.