Christmas at COTHA is a special time of year for children of all ages, from 8 months to 88 years old and beyond. It is a season of joy, peace, love, and family togetherness. Christmas is also the most familiar of the church seasons for our COTHA Kids, who range in age from five to ten years old. Ask any of them, and they will know the true meaning of the season: it’s all about celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Sure, for my kindergarten crew clear through to the fourth graders, and everywhere in between, Christmas is also about the magic of Santa Claus, stockings, holiday lights, hot chocolate, presents under the tree, and a very intimidating “naughty vs. nice” list. In the same breath, however, they will share the tale of Joseph and Mary, no room at the inn, a baby born in a manger, surrounded by animals, a bright star in the sky and, eventually, a couple of wise men bringing gifts to our newborn Prince of Peace.
They will also tell you something you might not expect from ones so young: It’s also about a season of compassion. “Compassion” is a big, important word and, thanks to our friends at Orange (the ministry curriculum/framework we use here at COTHA), we’re spending the entire month of December digging deep to learn the meaning. Yes, this month’s COTHA Kids Life App is Compassion, which is “caring enough to do something about someone else’s need.” And it’s not just about learning a definition, but it’s the way they apply it in real world form that is global and epic and will melt your heart.
For the past 15+ years, the COTHA Kids have partnered with World Vision to share gifts of compassion with other children around the world. Last year, through our church’s amazing gifts, led by our children’s energy and efforts, we collected enough donations to buy a goat, two pigs, some bibles, a few soccer balls, plus clean water, new clothing, medicine, school supplies, 10 trees, fishing supplies, and seeds.
This year, it’s all about a cow. Yes, I said it, they want to raise enough money to donate a cow! As their pastor, it puts a huge smile on my face and gives me a whole lot to “moo” about. In the past, I have witnessed children emptying their piggy banks into the collection basket, penny by penny. I have seen my student ministry crew members, inspired by the cause and the kids, answer the compassion challenge themselves and donate greatly from their own wallets and purses. My favorite moments are listening to stories of the COTHA Kids who worked odds jobs around the house or in their neighborhoods to earn the money themselves. You see, they are learning early in their lives that the true reward of the season is the joy of giving. That compassion then amplifies their gratitude when receiving gifts themselves. It’s an amazing cycle that continues on in their spiritual growth journey here at COTHA.
Would you please play a part?
If you are interested in helping the COTHA Kids make their Compassion Challenge goal in support of World Vision, please click HERE
For more details on World Vision, please visit their website: www.worldvision.org.
To learn more about the Orange curriculum, check out http://thinkorange.com.