Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Welcome To Watch-e-kee!

photo by Daniel Leininger

A very hearty Midwestern hello to my friends visiting from Blog Around The World, and a special thanks to Debbie for letting me be one of the hostesses for today. I’m so excited to show you around my neck of the woods, but mostly to introduce you to the ministry that God has grabbed my passions with.

Watch-e-kee is actually the original Indian name for the town we live in, Watseka, IL, population 5700 give or take a few cows. How the European settlers manage to turn an Indian name around always fascinates me. It’s like they ask for the name of a place and then only half listen to the answer.

Regardless, Watseka is in east central Illinois at the eastern edge of the Great Prairie, which means that the land here is flat, flat, flat. During the winter when the corn and soybean fields are resting you can see for miles in any direction. We’re also at the edge of Tornado Alley, which makes for some interesting posts sometimes. On top of that, in April of this year our part of the world was rocked by a 5.4 magnitude earthquake. Could the happenings get any more diverse than that?

As a matter of fact, they can. Watseka sits on the Iroquois River, a small tributary of the Kankakee River, and in January, after a heavy snow melt coupled with several days of heavy rain, our town and surrounding areas were devastated by a flood. Water was so high that it was coming in through the drive-thru window at KFC. This is a picture (photo by Shutrbug72 ) of what one of our parks looked like.

Just as the waters receded and clean up began, a second storm system moved through, and since there was no where for the water to go with the ground being so saturated, everything flooded again. Then the temperatures plummeted, and everything froze. There were people who lost everything in the first flood but were nonetheless resolute to pick up and move on. After the second one, though, I noticed a lot of shell-shocked faces walking around.
Below is an excellent video produced by Phil Gioja, a member of our church, who interviewed several people from our church and captured the devastation in their lives from the flood, but also how faith played a role in their recovery.


Our family moved to Watseka in May from just across the state line in Indiana (you mean, you moved to a flood-prone area that has tornadoes and earthquakes, like, on purpose?!). Well, yeah. Our church is here, a lot of our activities are here, and it brought us a little closer to my husband’s work (at the time). We live outside the 100-year flood plain, but just inside the 500-year flood plain, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. That, and up to date on our flood insurance.

Challenges and trials aside, the real reason for this blog ministry is to encourage and equip parents to be witnesses of the gospel to their children. Did you know that 80-85% of children from evangelical homes will walk away from their faith after graduating high school? As Christian parents, that statistic should motivate us to do whatever it takes to make sure our children know who God is and why His salvation plan is so important.

Many of these children attend church weekly with their families and participate in mid-week youth activities and Sunday school classes, so obviously those things alone are not enough to keep our children engaged in their spiritual walk once they’re out on their own. I’m convinced that a lot of us parents have been persuaded that the church is better equipped to guide our children than we are.

I’m also certain that a lot of parents honestly don’t know where to start. Barna research states that 85% of all parents believe it is their primary responsibility to teach biblical values to their children, but less than 10% actually read together from the Bible.

So my passion is to tell the parent, “You can do it!” Recognize that the Great Commission starts in your home, and that the most precious target of your outreach is your child. Are you ready to go on The Greatest Mission Trip You’ll Ever Take?
Related Articles:

52 comments:

Mrs de Miranda said...

Im over from BATW! Your blog is great! And it makes me want to come to Illnois! I have never been, but it sounds like I need to!

Julie said...

thanks for your post and I love your heart for parents and their kiddos! We are a missionary family living and serving in Hungary. Thanks again!

Sue said...

I am visiting you via BATW. Thank you for sharing about your wonderful ministry. We have the same heart for our children!

We don't have flood troubles where we are in Japan, but we sure know about earthquakes. It can be scary, but we are in God's hands. A very good place to be!

Bird, Frizzy and Our Little Yaya said...

Wow! What a wonderful blog and what a great message. Thank you for sharing and for what you are doing.

Cairo Typ0 said...

I'm visiting from BAtW! I lived in central Illinois for several years and now i'm home sick. :)

Enjoy your BAtW day!! ;)

Casey said...

Thanks for introducing us to your town! Floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes- oh my! I also admire your faith. As a Christian school teacher, I totally understand the importance of giving children a foundation for their entire life, not just for the time when they live at home.

Thanks for sharing!

Brenda Jean said...

Thanks for the cool tour! Floods frighten me-- I hate water and don't swim. Not a good combination:)

Congrats on being featured!

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

Wow...so sorry you all had to go through that.

Patti said...

Great blog! I'm here from Texas!

Lauren W said...

Whoo... sounds like Illinois certainly keeps you on your toes, but with your beautiful outlook on life, it doesn't seem to phase you too much :)
Have a happy day!

Caution Flag said...

Love your comment about how we've mangled some of the Indian names. Thanks for your blog. Your stat regarding the number of evangelical kids who turn away has really got my heading turning.

Melissa Lester said...

Your post and video remind me of the little town I lived in for several years. Elba, Ala., has been flooded several times. My family moved from Elba before my junior year of high school, and it was surreal to sit in a classroom in Tennessee watching former classmates interviewed on the national news. My dad is a minister, and he was the first person allowed into the city to bring aid. Community pride, friendship and faith are strengthened by facing a natural disaster together, and your post brought all those memories to the surface today. Congrats on your BATW feature!

Louise, Carmine Superiore, Italy said...

Hi! Debbie sent me! I like your blog - you have a really strong message - stay with it. Have a good day. Louise

Becky Welch said...

WOW!! I feel the exact same way about my kids! My husband and I try so hard to teach them but I know there is always more that we could do! I am going to have to add you to my list so I can glean from you! Thanks for your ministry and enjoy your BATW day! I will be back!

Amy Kay said...

You have a great blog, thanks for the information and all you do for parents and children. I am someday going to visit Illinois. I'm visiting from BATW and South Georgia. Hugs, Amy ;)

Elizabeth said...

I enjoyed reading about the flooding and how people are coping. Thanks for being a hostess today!

karin said...

Nice to visit here via BATW from out west in Canada. You're a lovely hostess. We only get one chance to raise our children right. We've done the best we knew how and are now watching how they are raising our grandangels! God is good. "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Thanks for your passion for the ministry to children.

Tara @ Living A Dream said...

Hi Deb! I was excited to see that you were the feature on BATW today! I loved the post. Enjoy your day!! You are truly inspiring!

Lady Dorothy said...

Greetings from California!

I can't imagine a better purpose for blogging! May God abundantly bless your work!

Vicki said...

Thanks for the tour! I lived on the edges of tornado alley in Missouri. Don't miss that part about living in the Midwest!

Your vision for families is so important and essential. Thank you for everything that you do!

Breanne said...

Thanks for the tour...what a great blog you have!!

Betty said...

What a great purpose in life! I admire what you are doing!

Thanks for the tour and enjoy your BATW day!

"The Queen in Residence" said...

Over from BATW enjoy the bloggy love today!!!

Oh2122 said...

Happy BATW day, and thanks for the tour!

I've never been to Illinois, so it was great.

Mamasphere said...

Well, you certainly gave me something to think about. I just assumed that since all the usual stuff worked for me, it would for my daugther as well. Time to get WAY more involved in her spiritual upbringing. Great tour! Though I'm sorry to hear about all the flooding.

Denyse said...

Thanks so much for the tour of your hometown. Amazing. But what's even more amazing is your heart for ministry. Thanks for the encouraging, uplifting words and resources!

Stacey said...

Thank you so much for that post. I'm visiting from BATW, and I cannot tell you emphatically enough that your blog helped bring me some peace and strength. As a mom of two boys and one of them being especially trying because of some special needs issues, it helped bring me back into focus. You have a wonderful heart...Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the tour!

Star Forbis said...

Hi, It's nice to meet you. You have a lot of really great things to say.

JourneytoFamily said...

Thanks for the great post. I love your mission statement and it's great to remind us Christian parents of the responsibility we have to our kids. (visiting from Los Angeles, CA)

Veggie Mom said...

Glad to hear from Downstate Illinois! My daughters go to school in Wisconsin, and know your home state well...Thanks so much for the great tour. Isn't BATW the BEST?

Joy in the Burbs... said...

Deb, thanks for the tour and the reminder of how important our job as parents really is. It was also convicting to me. I really need to spend more time on the eternal with them instead of the temporal.
God Bless and I'll bookmark you and come back.
Joy from TX via BATW

Lynnette Kraft said...

Oh wow! I LOVE what you are doing! It is SO sad that families are falling apart today. :( My husband and I have the same heart. When our daughter Anna was born in 1998 with congenital heart defects, our hearts were opened to so much. It was a changing time in our lives. Anna died in 2004 and we are grateful for the years of change...Anna accepted Jesus as her Savior just 4 months before she died.

We are now planting a family-integrated church in our area - a place where families can learn and grow and worship TOGETHER! The church service is designed to teach fathers how to lead their family in "family worship".

I'm excited to see others who have a heart for the family. May God bless your ministry. We need you at our church! Want to move to Kansas! ??? :)

It's nice meeting you. Come and visit me at www.lynnettekraft.blogspot.com A friend of mine is having a give-away for my book. I'd love to send one your way! Go and enter! :)

Have a lovely afternoon.
Lynnette
BATW

Susie said...

Greetings from Wisconisn. Congratulations on your BATW feature. I hope that you are enjoying your day in the sun:-)

Amy said...

Visiting from BATW. I really love your mission. It's definitely needed.

Ruthanne said...

Keep sharing the message of encouragement! Thanks for the tour.

Melissa B. said...

Thanks for the tour! I'm originally from Texas, so know what you mean about the flat, flat prairie! It's a beautiful part of the country, especially when the wheat and the corn are high! BATW's a great way to see the world, isn't it?

Ronnica said...

I've recently moved to be closer to my church as well. Not across state lines or anything, but from a suburb/town to the city.

Amy said...

Visiting via BATW. What a cool place to visit, I'd love to one day. I am from Louisiana, thanks for hosting :D

Man and Kat said...

Visiting from BATW! Thanks for the tour of Illnios!

Gina said...

Hm, you have a very thought provoking blog. And to think I was just going to "pop over for a bit" from BATW. I'll be back when I have time to contemplate.

Ashley said...

Congrats on your BATW feature!

The Hultman's said...

I love the idea and heart behind your blog! Thinking of raising your children as part of your mission field really puts things into perspective!

My husband is from Rockford, IL. His entire family still lives there and we visit often. I have noticed that IL is very different from top to bottom and side to side... Big city to corn fields and everything in between!

Mrs. X said...

What an inspiring message!

Thanks for the tour:)

caron said...

What an inspirational blog!! Glad to see others think about the Great Commission! Visiting from BATW

Debbie said...

What a fabulous message for a captive audience ;) There are no accidents are there?

Jen said...

Yeah for you!!! What a great hostess you are. Thanks for the lovely tour.

Gombojav Tribe said...

I'm so glad that Debbie picked you today!! :-)

Daja

Desi said...

Thank you for having us!!

Michelle said...

Hi Deb - I hope you're enjoying hostessing as much as I am! I remember hearing on the news and seeing in the papers all the flooding down there. Completely devastating, I would imagine. Finges crossed that you stay dry the next time the floods come on down!

Sharon (sk) said...

Hello from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi and BATW! It is so nice to meet you!! :)

Tracy P. said...

Great job, as always, Deb! I got here late, but I'm glad--it's fun to see the response from all these moms challenged by your vision! :-)