A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Let the Children Come

Posted on: September 9, 2013

Have you ever thought that children have it easy? Few responsibilities, no worries about bills or mortgages, no job stress, no lack of free time?

Deep down, we know being a child isn’t easy. Children spend much of the day getting ready for and attending school and doing homework. They don’t always get along with their friends and classmates. Parents, older siblings and teachers tell them what to do and remind them they’re too young to do things.

But what about children living in poverty or dealing with abuse? What about those who live in countries that are at war or that are run by repressive regimes? Or countries where women and girls aren’t valued or given opportunities to learn, where children go to work at a very young age, or where they are sold into the sex trade by their own families? “Being a child isn’t easy” takes on a whole new meaning; we’re talking about children who grow up living in fear, who are deprived of an education, who work in poor conditions for little pay, or who are forced to serve as prostitutes.

In Matthew 19:14*, we read, “Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.’”

Sadly, it seems the adults in this world are doing a lot to hinder children from growing and developing into healthy adults who are people of hope and faith. So as people called to share the love of God, what are some things can we do to help instead?

Support efforts here to help children in need by contributing to food banks, donating gently used clothing and household items through charity donation bins, volunteering as a tutor or mentor (see last Thursday’s post), supporting shelters such as Harmony House, or fostering a child through the Children’s Aid Society.

Sponsor a child in another country through an organization such as Compassion International, the Arms of Jesus Children’s Mission, the International Needs Network or Chalice. Sponsored children learn about the love of God as well as academic subjects and life skills. They gain the chance for a better life—and hope from knowing someone cares enough to help.

Support organizations that work to free children from poverty and exploitation, such as Free the Children and Ratanak International (for which a fundraising event, Be the Change, is being held in Ottawa this month).

(*Quote from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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