Raising Spiritual Arrows
As I read the first chapter of Julie Ferwerda's new book, One Million Arrows: Raising Your Children to Change the World, I felt as if I were sitting across the table having coffee with a person I'd known forever. One Million Arrows is just that kind of book!
Let me begin by saying that all of the Author's proceeds from this book have been designated for international orphan ministry. That kind of generosity just makes me want to pump my fist in the air and say 'Yes!!'
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy, blessed and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them!" Psalm 127:3-5
One Million Arrows is a clarion call to inspire Christian parents to raise our kids to impact their culture, their community and their world for Christ. The vision of 'one million arrows' or one million Christian children sent out as powerful shining lights to a broken world began in the heart of M.A. "Papa" Thomas.
"Papa" is a seventy-year-old pastor from India who has literally been the spiritual father to more than 16,000 hurting children with more than 2/3 of these children devoting their lives to full-time ministry as pastors, evangelists, teachers and medical professionals. "It is conservatively estimated that 95% of the children that have come through Papa's homes around India are serving the Lord to this day, whether part time or full time." The story of Papa's life with Christ is extraordinary.
Julie took Papa's vision for one million arrows, set it to words and expounded upon it as a mission for all Christ-following families in all countries, in all cultures. It is a mission we must affirmatively accept; raising children in this manner does not happen accidentally. We must be intentional in encouraging our kids to discover their God-given purpose, follow the Great Commission and live with a passion for Christ!
Julie's call to parents to sharpen their arrows, pull back their bow and let their own children be shining lights for Christ, gives me great encouragement. Beautifully, though, she doesn't leave it there... why can't we, like Papa, be the 'spiritual parents' for those without! This thought resounds deeply personal within me as we step out into full-time mission work with orphans and vulnerable children. I absolutely never viewed our future work as 'spiritual parenting.' Thank you, Lord, for giving me fresh eyes to see and other arrows to sharpen.
Spiritual parenting to vulnerable children will look different in every family. For some families, spiritual parenting may include adoption. For other families, fostering may be the way. Still others will be led to support ministries that care for orphans. Families might sponsor children in other countries through Christian organizations. Or, for Julie's family, spiritual parenting means selling your dream house that you built with your own hands and using the proceeds to allow for a Haitian orphanage to expand to reach many, many more children!
Julie's writing is humble and real; it is heart-felt and moving. I recommend this book to you wholeheartedly!
Julie has graciously offered the first chapter of One Million Arrows to YOU as a free download. Enjoy!