A Heart for the World: A Gift that Lasts a Lifetime

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I grew up in a community so tiny we didn’t even have a post office. We had to drive an hour to the nearest mall. And yet, the world came to my kitchen table while my family homeschooled together.

What were some of the practical ways my family developed a perspective that ranged beyond the mile markers of our town?

  • I remember all of us practicing our Spanish each morning around the table and then attempting to carry on conversations with our neighbors who came to work in the cotton gin next door each fall.
  • Our family hosted many missionaries in our home. A particular favorite when I was a little girl was larger-than-life Jo Skaggs from Africa who enthralled me with her tales of eating grasshoppers and seeing God work.
  • I learned more about listening to others and sharing my faith as I discussed the tenants of Islam with my dad and the owners of our local gas station and as my parents welcomed Arab families into our home.
  • I was moved by the example of my grandmother who has influenced nations from her rocking chair through her prayers, her hand-written cards and her sacrificial gifts.
  • My dad helped me fund and prepare for my first mission trip out of the country.
  • Our spinning globe was well worn from locating the places of people we read about and met and prayed for.
  • My parents helped spur on a passion for the world that influenced my choice to serve in Tanzania as a missionary and to reach out to refugees in my own community in the U.S.

Now I long to develop a heart for the world in my own children and I’m thrilled that this is also one of Sonlight’s passions.

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Offering families a global perspective is one of the hallmarks of Sonlight. Rather than focusing on American history for 80% of your school years, you’ll get access to almost twice as much world history as a traditional program. (See Reason #8 of Reasons NOT to Buy Sonlight and Sarita’s post).

You’ll find missionary biographies and literature that reflect different cultures woven through your Sonlight studies.

You’ll find prayer guides that help you pray for specific nations and people.  You’re even likely to be invited to participate in a charitable giving  project that aids people around the world who have never heard the Gospel.

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Be encouraged, this intentional look at the whole world is built into your curriculum from the beginning and gives your kids a solid foundation to build a lifetime of learning about people and ideas.

So why is it so important that we give our kids a global perspective? You’ll have to read Sarita’s post on why Sonlight encourages study of both hemispheres, but I’ll give you four quick reasons here:

4 Reasons to Give Our Kids a Global Perspective

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A global perspective helps us …

  1.  Battle entitlement

When we learn that not everyone in the world is as privileged as we are, we begin to view our blessings in a different way. Not only are we more thankful for what we do have, we are more likely to be drawn to use our resources to aid others who don’t have as much.

Anyone who has looked around at our generation knows fighting again entitlement is much needed!

  1. Better understand an increasingly connected global society (in business, politics, technology, religion and more)
  1. Reflect God’s heart for the nations

We can help our children pray–specifically, intelligently and intentionally–for real needs in the world. As we watch the news or discuss what is happening in a certain area, we can bring requests to God with a specificity that is powerful. We want to see the world with wide open eyes so we can demonstrate love and empathy.

  1. Be prepared to impact the world

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God cares about the whole world. When students reflect His priorities they are more prepared to make an impact.

Sarita began Sonlight with a vision to help missionaries stay on the field one more year, and she continues to impact the world not only by giving and praying strategically, but also by equipping students to be passionate, well-informed, global-minded people who are prepared to do whatever God calls them to do.

Now that’s a gift!

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