Universal Children’s Day

Celebrating Universal Children’s Day.

Have you ever watched a YouTube video showcasing some hilarious kid saying or doing something ridiculous and silly, it almost made you pee your pants? Those are some of the very best YouTube videos out there… they are priceless! My favourite is of this one little guy out in the middle of winter, attempting to shovel some snow. After a moment of frustrated shoveling, followed by a loud grunt, he stops everything he’s doing, and with a completely blank look on his face, takes a long moment to contemplate the situation around him. Suddenly, in an outburst, he looks right up at the sky and cries out “Jesus, make it warm”!!!! It kills me, even just thinking about it! I’m sure you probably have a few favorites of your own you could share too.

Kids are pretty special; they are little creatures of innocent joy and energy… quick to say and do things that you and I couldn’t even imagine ourselves doing. I love observing children, especially when they are at play, which is pretty much all the time; they are just constantly having fun (or at least looking for it)! With their little active minds of wonder, awe and curiosity, they are always completely themselves, often enjoying such small and simple things, those things that we as teenagers and adults will easily overlook entirely. I admire children greatly, for their simplicity and vast imagination which allows them to see the world in such a different light… and it’s our challenge to remember how we too once viewed the world through that lens.

This summer I returned from travelling for a year and a half with “The African Children’s Choir” as an “Auntie” (chaperone), to 16 poverty stricken children from Uganda.
I’ll never forget my first week with them, which was their very first week ever in North America.
There were so many “firsts” they experienced that I had the privilege to be a part of, such as eating cold cereal (cheerios), bouncing around in a bouncy castle, riding an escalator, having access to a mirror, the concept of “pet” animals, snow, lip chap, washing machines, and the magic of hot water pouring out of a tap. Those are all “firsts” that I’ve known almost my entire life, because I wouldn’t be able to tell you about that first time I felt hot water pouring out of a tap; it’s never meant anything to me, not nearly as much as it did to those 16 children from Uganda. It was magic to them; everything was magic to them.

Children are extremely precious, and they possess something so valuable, something so rare that our hard world desperately needs. Too many children have been, and ARE right now, being overlooked, and taken advantage of because of this very gift they possess: their innocence and simple faith, with big imaginations and huge hearts that take on our raw and weary world with such happy steadfastness. To this, my heart’s response has always been who will advocate for them? Who will protect them when they are abandoned, hungry, and sick? Who will speak up for them when they are forced into working in sweatshops, brothels, and fields? Who will fight for them when they are persecuted, slandered and objectified? And who will empower them to go to school, become good parents, achieve their dreams, laugh, play, and love?

I will. Will you?

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