If you think "Djibouti" is slang for your backside, this post is for you!
Maybe its just me, but have you ever realized how uneducated you are about our world? I feel completely ignorant. I can't recall a whole lot about the history of America so I certainly don't know anything about the history of other nations.
Seriously. Most international students I've met in the US know more about my own country than I do. And then I've got nothing in return. Oh, your from Estonia? I didn't even know that country exists. End of conversation.
Why would someone want to hear me share the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ if I don't even have an ounce of knowledge about where they call home? Ouch.
The horrible result of this ignorance will be upon my kids unless I stop the cycle.
How am I going to disciple my children to have God's heart for the nations if I know nothing about them and therefore have nothing to teach?
That question has resulted in an intentional focus on the nations in the Gilbert house!
We got a new world map to put in Ava's room (Grayson ripped down our first one . . . shocker!). I feel like I need to go back to 7th grade World Studies and do some quizzes! We so want our whole family to be familiar with every nation and the work God is doing there so having them in front of us daily will certainly help!
We have used Operation World during our family worship each evening for the last few years and this has been amazing for all of us. In a year, we pray specifically for every nation and are able to learn details about their history, politics, geography, religion, answers to prayer, and challenges for prayer. If I could recommend one book to families (besides the Bible of course) this would be it!
The latest thing we are doing to increase our knowledge of the nations is a focus on one particular nation each month. The idea started as a Nations Night once a month, but one night just wasn't going to be enough!
Our nation for August was India. We have a group from Edgewater traveling to India in March (I so wish we could go . . . maybe next time!). As we pray for those going on the trip the next few months, we will definitely be praying with more insight because of this last month!
I checked out a few children's books from the library about India. This was a great way to teach Ava some of the culture and to give all of us a glimpse into life in India.
Chad and I are also trying to learn the states of India and their locations, but this will definitely be taking us more than one month!
We did decide to pick one night in the month for a Nations Night! There was a lot going on so instead of making a homemade Indian meal like I planned, I picked up Amy's frozen Indian food from Target. Cut me some slack. :)
Ava tried it, but wasn't a big fan. Grayson, on the other hand, was chowing down! It was fun to give them a taste of India and talk about some of the things we'd learned over the month.
I found a few videos on You Tube with traditional Indian music and dancing so the kiddos could experience that part of Indian culture. And then we might have just ended up watching the dance scene on the last part of Slumdog Millionaire. :)
It was a fun month learning about India as a family even though I know we only touched the surface of the rich history and culture of their nation. When we evacuated last week, we met an Indian family at a playground. We praised God for His leading us to this focus because we were able to talk with them with confidence. . . not just about us or America, but about their culture as well!
We serve a God who created and loves people of all nations. He wants to see His glory proclaimed in every people group because He alone is worthy of the worship of all peoples! I'm praying that God will continue to cultivate in us and in His Church a love, knowledge, and passion for all nations!